Does your shoulder feel like it’s going to explode?

Advice for when your shoulder feels like it’s going to blow!

Disclaimer alert!

These are all tips from my personal experience and my training as a sports massage therapist. If you’ve got serious pain, especially involving numbness or loss of movement then you need to speak to your GP for advice.

Does your shoulder feel like it’s going to explode? Do you wake up, feel a warning twinge in your shoulder, go to lift something off a shelf, or look over your shoulder, and then BANG, you’ve been zapped! Your neck is frozen and in so much pain you feel trapped.

I had a day that nearly ended up in disaster like this two weeks ago. It’s happened to me enough times in the past that I can now recognise the first warning twinge. I know if I don’t do something straight away then the next day or two are wiped off for me.

Knowing the warning signs for shoulder and neck pain

It all started on the Thursday. I usually find that stress is the first step in stacking up the cards for a perfect storm. I had a crazy busy day in work, plus college in the evening involving a surprise practice assessment. On the Friday I had massage treatments lined up, plus I promised I’d take my daughter ice skating, which involves an hour round trip to Cardiff, and I know if one thing is going to really set off my shoulder it’s sat in a car driving.

Waking up on the Friday morning with the first feeling of a warning twinge in my shoulder, I knew I needed to do some emergency action, or my day would be ruined.

First step, hot shower. Get the water as hot as you can stand it. It’s good for you!

Why is it good for you? Muscles love heat, it helps them relax and expand. What about ice therapy? That’s good if you’re got inflammation from damage and you want to reduce the swelling in the area. But what if it is damage that’s causing the pain? Well, it’s trial and error I suppose. I’m talking from my experience. My shoulders like heat to relax, and I find the taser like pain that I sometimes get is made worse by stress, which causes tension, which constricts the area and compresses the nerves, and then boom. My neck and shoulders are gone.

So just stand under the shower, move your shoulders about in slow circles, bend your neck to each side, slowly nodding yes and no. Because despite what these warning pains are trying to tell you, movement is magic. What you don’t want to do is suddenly strain it, so just nice gentle, slow shoulder rolls.Β  Turn your head slowly side to side. Get the area to relax. If a shower is not an option, then a hot water bottle, a heat blanket, or a hot bath.

How massage can help shoulder and neck pain

Then what I do is reach around and grab hold of as much skin on my shoulder and lift and roll it off the areas that feel like it’s stuck. This might be something that difficult to do, maybe because you can’t reach around that far, or don’t have enough strength to grip, but that’s where massage therapy can really help. We’ve been trained to work with those areas and apply enough pressure or lift to convince the nervous system that it can in fact relax.

What I was noticing, especially as I got closer to the spine, was a tingling like pins and needles. In between each of the vertebrae is a nerve, running in the spaces of the ribs. It’s why if you’ve ever been unfortunate enough to break a rib, (or get a tattoo around your rib) you’ll know just how excruciating it is. It’s the copious supply of nerves. The problem is when those muscles habitually hold tension, then the muscles which move us around are also going to be the ones to compress the very nerves they rely on to give them to signals to move. Then you set up the perfect storm where the nerves are getting compressed with no space to glide, the nerves get pinched and then BOOM you’re tasered.

Thanks to applying heat, keeping the area moving and using massage to loosen the fascia around the muscles I was able to avoid the dreaded shoulder explosion.

If you want to book an appointment to talk more about the movement issues you’re dealing with then get in touch and we can find out which muscles are causing you pain.

What’s the point of resolutions?

The glow of Christmas has worn off, it’s nearly February, and now the enormity of the new year lies before us. What’s the point in making new years resolutions?

The answer is the bodies own reward system. The feel good hormones dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin and endorphins are important chemicals created and used by the body. Your marvellous machine, the human body, will release different chemicals in response to different situations.

Try giving to yourself instead of taking away

The thing is with resolutions is that they often focus on giving something up, and the body doesn’t like this. As soon as it feels scarcity then cortisol and adrenaline will kick in, the stress hormones.

Instead of taking from yourself, try giving it something instead.

There’s even been a study into the resolutions made by people, and the ones that focus on adding something to our lives are more successful that the ones that take away.

A large-scale experiment on New Year’s resolutions: Approach-oriented goals are more successful than avoidance-oriented goals (

Instead of stopping things, you should start doing things

Per Carlbring

The beauty of this is that it’ll be different for everyone. What brings joy to one person won’t be the same for another person.

So find your joy. Marie Konda has built an industry from encouraging people to find what “sparks joy” in their homes and belongings. It’s basically finding what sparks serotonin!

How to make resolutions

One of the best ways to do this is to set goals, and to break these down into micro goals. Each micro goal has it’s own shot of dopamine.

I aim to get back in the sea swimming this year. I miss the rush of terror from the cold water and the buzz from conquering my fears. I’ve got mini goals along the way, and I’ve also got a long term timetable for this,

I know it’s going to take months to get back to the point where I could comfortably swim two and a half miles in the sea. But I’m not in a rush, and there’s also less chance of me beating myself up for not sticking to schedule.

My plan also involves shopping for new kit, so I’ll also get that infamous buzz from adding things to that shopping cart.

I even bought myself a new mug for Christmas so that every time I have a cuppa I’m reminded about getting back in the sea. Oh and I love bears.

What’s the point of resolutions and sports massage?

But what’s all this got to do with sports massage?

A couple of things.

Massage has been proven to also boost these feel good chemicals. It could be that an invigorating sports massage will help boost that post Christmas fatigue, and help you deal with the new year stress.

If your goals involve any sporty activities, or even finishing the garden and doing some decorating, then finding those cranky muscles and figuring out ways to move better will bring so much more joy and freedom to your time.

So what’s the point to resolutions? It’s because your body is craving those chemicals!

So what plans are you going to make to keep that brain and body glowing?

Spider-Man review and anatomy

Spider-Man review and anatomy

This is my review of the new 2021 Spider-Man film and what I noticed about the anatomy of a superhero.

First off, the review.

No major spoilers!

My son when he was 3 years old loved the Tobey Maguire Spider-Man. Now my son is 13 and he loves this new film. Gave it 1000 out of 10. You’ll laugh out loud and maybe cry out loud. Great characters and well worth watching.

Anatomy of a superhero

A couple of things I noticed about Spider-Man’s anatomy.

Number 1, he suffers from back pain! He’s obviously carrying a lot of tension in his shoulders from climbing up walls and across ceilings. He could do with booking a sports massage session! I’d start with shoulders then lower back, and recommend some thoracic rotations to incorporate into his daily activities.

Number 2, the iconic Spider-Man stretch.

One thing Spidey does really well, alongside scaling buildings, is he never neglects to stretch his adductors. Jumping off a 900ft skyscraper? Land in the Spider-Man stretch to absorb the impact.

Never heard of adductors?

It’s your inner thigh. Most people know where quads and hamstrings are, but adductors are the overworked and underpaid compartment of the thigh.

Looking after your adductors

I often encounter adductors that really need some extra care. They feel knotted and tight, and are tender for the client. If they don’t get their full range of motion, both stretching and activation, then they’re going to shut down and you’ll end up with knee pain, hip pain and groin pain that you can never quite figure out where it’s coming from.

So take a leaf out of Spidey’s exercise book and try the Spider-Man stretch everyday! See if you can hold the stretch on each side while the kettle boils, or even while you brush your teeth. That way you won’t forget to incorporate a bit of mobility into your everyday routine.

Plus you’ll get to feel like a superhero.

I hope you enjoyed this review of the Spider-Man film, and my observations of a superhero’s anatomy!

If you want to book a session or an online consultation with me, get in touch on my Facebook page;

And here’s another link to my article on stress and the immune system;

I went to see Lucie with a sore back and knee, the work she has done in one hour is amazing. She has left me with no pain in my back and hardly any pain in my knee. In just one hour!!!!! Absolutely amazing, would highly recommend. Thank you

Heidi, Facebook

Stress and the immune system

Stress and the immune system

Did you know that there’s been many studies into the link between stress and the immune system?

The joy (and stress) of Christmas

It’s that time of year…

Every day in your diary is full, and you’re struggling to find time for yourself, even to do some Christmas shopping. If you’re lucky you might have a Christmas show to go and watch, or family to visit. Then there’s also looming work deadlines; things to finish off before the office shuts for two weeks.

Feeling burnt out? I used to work in a gift shop in Cardiff where we worked up until Christmas eve, wrapping last minute gifts, frantically keeping the shelves stocked and the tills ringing. Then Christmas day would come around and I’d be hit with a cold. My immune system could only hold on for so long before crashing down.

I didn’t know at the time about the link between your immune system and stress levels, but it makes so much sense looking back.

A magic wand for the immune system?

If there was a magic wand to boost our immune system then surely we’d be queuing up for it. It’s never as simple as a magic wand. But reducing our stress levels by doing the things that bring us joy, and help us feel safe, which will release those mood boosting hormones like oxytocin, dopamine and serotonin, could help us along the way.

There’s even been studies showing how having a massage will boost the number of white blood cells in the body because of the effect that it has on the nervous system, the boss of the body. So if ever there was a reason you needed to book an appointment with your local, friendly sports massage therapist, then now is the time to do it!

What are the things that help you relax?

BBC One – The Truth About…, Boosting Your Immune System, Massage

Sports massage help for back pain

Here’s some principles from sports massage for help with back pain.

Has anyone else end up with back pain having a living room reshuffle to fit the Christmas tree in? πŸ™ˆπŸ–οΈπŸŽ„

Here’s 3 things from sports massage techniques to help…

Sports massage techniques to help back pain

🌟One of the things I always check before a sports massage treatment is if the client is warm enough. Heat is always good to relax muscles, and even more so when they have gone into spasm. A nice hot shower or even a hot water bottle on your back is a great option. Even better if you are able to get in the bath for a really long soak, get those candles going and really chill out.

🌟Try and find the tight muscular area with your knuckles and give it a good kneading, you may be surprised how far into the glutes you have to go to ease back pain! Book a sports massage session to really get a good going over the tight muscles. This will focus on not just the back and the spine, but the hips and the glutes, as everything is connected in the body

🌟Give it time to relax. If the nerves in the muscles have been aggravated then they need time to settle down. The more that your nervous system feels safe, then the quicker it’ll send signals for the muscles to calm down too. So reach for your favourite beverage and try to find some chillout time

Aftercare for back pain

Once the area has calmed down a bit, it’s good to get it moving again, otherwise the muscles will start to think that the only safe option is for them to do nothing and to freeze, and that will only bring more trouble

Hoping these ideas for sports massage help for back pain have helped and that you enjoy a pain free Christmas

Sports massage gift vouchers

Sports massage gift vouchers

Are you looking for sports massage gift vouchers for a pain free and relaxing Christmas? Then you’ve found the right place. What a better gift for your loved ones. πŸŽ„ This gift bag contains a 1 hour sports massage treatment, valid for 1 year, plus a gorgeous smelling candle in a cute gift bag. All for just Β£30.

How I work with sports massage

I specialise in sports massage that targets tight muscles and joints and gets them working again without feeling bruised πŸ’†πŸ’†β€β™‚οΈ

I specialise in sports massage that targets tight muscles and joints and gets them working again without feeling bruised.

Sports massage can help with pain relief and increase your range of movement. It can help if you’ve got tense shoulders from working at a computer, or tight hips from training for a marathon.

I’m confident that you’ll be feeling better after a treatment. I work with you to form a plan of the areas to treat during our consultation time. I always work within your pain threshold and will make sure sure that the tense and painful areas are feeling more comfortable.

My name is Lucie Bromfield, and I’m insured with the FHT and qualified to level 3 VTCT and currently studying for level 4 VTCT. I work from my treatment room at home in Tonyrefail, South Wales.

If you’re looking for sports massage gift vouchers then get in touch today to buy yours, and start ticking those gifts off your Christmas list βœ…πŸŽπŸ’œ


Sports massage therapy room

Meet the sports massage therapy room. Cosy, chilled out vibes for some deep tissue therapy πŸ‘πŸ’œ

It’s the perfect space to find some me time and unwind. Together we’ll work out a plan of the painful areas to be worked on.

I’m not a believer in “MORE PAIN, MORE GAIN!” It’s more a case of persuading the painful areas that they don’t need to hold on so tight anymore. There’s no way that adding more pain is going to achieve that goal!

So if you’d rather a sports massage therapist to use super deep pressure then you’d be better off finding someone else.

How I use sports massage therapy to help you

If you want someone who’s going to respect your boundaries during a sports massage treatment then I’d like to reassure you I’ll do exactly that.

I use a combination of techniques that focus on loosening the fascia around the muscles, allowing space for the nerves and blood to flow more easily. This in turn will have a dramatically positive effect on the sensations of pain in that area.

I can also advise on aftercare, and strengthening exercises to support that area.

Get in touch to book an appointment. I’m based in Tonyrefail, South Wales.

Oh and I love classical music so you will probably be listening to Bach or Mozart during our treatment, unless you have some requests!

Take care