An article in the March edition of Academy of Clinical Massage explores one of the more common reasons patients seek out a massage therapist in the article Massage Therapy and Brachial Plexus injury.
Why is it important to find a therapist who is familiar with shoulder anatomy and treatment? There are a couple reasons. First, radiating shoulder pain and numbness often leads you to think the source is in the shoulder. Often times its not. It's in an area in the neck where the nerves exit and pass through soft tissue and where the nerves have become entrapped. Secondly, the key to massage treatment is to apply the correct pressure otherwise you can have increased symptoms. Specifically, there are areas where nerve cords meet called Erbs, one is right above the clavicle. Erbs are susceptible to damage from outside forces, massaging too vigorously can result in pain, numbness, paralysis, and weakness can occur. Inherent muscle weakness from surgeries or overuse can make the area more vulnerable.
If you are suffering from shoulder issues know you are in good hands with a therapist familiar with the shoulder region so you get the best possible outcome.