rotator cuff massage portland oregon

Over two years ago we wrote a popular article on what to look for if you think you may be dealing with a rotator cuff injury. View it HERE. Now, we’d like to go over key techniques that can help treat this painful injury and get you back to your full range of motion.

 Trigger Point Therapy 

Trigger points are concentrated, hypersensitive areas of muscle that need to be pinpointed and released. They carry large amounts of tension and can cause spasm, creating further tightening of the rotator cuff and its supporting muscles. A massage therapist will locate these trigger points and use deep, focused pressure in order to release the pain patterns and relax the area into the deepest layers of that muscle group, resetting the cell memory in order for it to heal properly and lengthen. 

 Lymphatic Drainage

A good deal of the pain you may be experiencing with a rotator cuff injury is likely caused by inflammation from the tear. Lymphatic drainage is going to release the fluid in the tissue, helping it to move back into the lymph nodes and reducing swelling. It is always good to reduce the inflammation and treat the muscle. 

Myofascial Release

The fascia is the connective tissue that is holding your muscles in place, so when there is an injury to your rotator cuff it is vital to treat not only the muscles but the fascia as well. With this injury, the fascia may have tightened up around the muscles, so myofascial release can be used to stretch the area, ultimately relaxing the rotator cuff and its supporting muscles.

Deep Tissue/Ashiatsu

When the rotator cuff is injured, the surrounding muscles are likely affected as well while your body compensates for the pain or decreased range of motion. It’s imperative to treat not only the rotator cuff, but the supporting muscles as well. Deep tissue is a great option in order to relax and promote blood flow. Ashiatsu is another style of deep tissue which utilizes the feet and leg strength to truly get that deep pressure into the innermost part of the muscles.

Sports Massage

This is a vigorous style of massage that helps remove built-up lactic acid from the muscles. The technique can be used to “wake up” the muscle in order to promote healing and increase range of motion. Oftentimes stretching is involved in the massage method. 


A popular style of massage, this is a classic way to help relax the muscle. It can decrease the anxiety of having an injury, improve blood-flow, and ease pain gradually. 

With this in mind, it’s important to consider all your options when treating a rotator cuff injury, including massage therapy. At East Bridge Massage, we can help you create a treatment plan to rehabilitate your shoulders with the goal of eliminating pain and restoring your full range of motion. Our talented, licensed massage therapists are going to pull from these types of massage as well as others not listed. We pull from our toolbox to create a unique recovery plan and meet your wellness goals.

Written By:

Clare Katner, Owner & Founder