Dealing with constant shoulder pain can be excruciating and may prevent you from living your full life or doing the things you once loved. Living in constant pain can also affect your ability to do your job properly or to get a good night’s sleep. It may also make you more irritable and lead to troubles with your family and relationships. For these reasons and more, it is essential that you get the treatment you need to overcome your shoulder pain issues.
Determine the Underlying Cause of Your Pain
The first step to overcoming shoulder pain is to determine what is causing the pain. Your collar bone, shoulder blade, arm bones, muscles, ligaments, and tendons could all be at fault, which makes it essential that you have the problem checked out by an experienced medical professional. Most shoulder pain is a result of repetitive movements that occur when working, doing hobbies, exercising or playing sports, etc. For some people, the pain is fairly constant, but it can also increase whenever you use your arms and shoulder joint more. In either case, it is important to seek medical treatment as otherwise, you risk the problem continuing to worsen.
Physical Therapy, Surgery, and Other Medical Treatment Options
Depending on the specific issue or issues that are causing your shoulder pain, your doctor may recommend a number of different treatment options. For more minor pain or less serious issues, the solution could be something as simple as letting your shoulder rest for a few days or taking medication to reduce swelling and inflammation. For more serious issues or chronic pain, your doctor may recommend that you undergo a period of physical therapy. Surgery is usually considered the last resort, but there are numerous issues where it may be the only way to fully correct the underlying problem.
Exercises for Shoulder Pain
One of the most effective ways to relieve shoulder pain is by doing exercises to improve strength and flexibility. This focus will help relax and relieve tension that your shoulders may be feeling tight. This is also why doctors often recommend physical therapy before considering surgery or other medical treatments. That being said, if you aren’t sure what is causing your shoulder pain, there is a possibility that there are tendon tares that need to heal before doing any of these exercises so consider consulting your doctor before performing any of these exercises.
When your joint senses a lack of flexibility, it will likely tighten the muscles around your shoulder joint to protect it. Unfortunately, this tightening of the muscles can cause tension and soreness. If flexibility is the issue, then exercises like across-the-chest stretch can help you relieve that pain over a period of time where you consistently stretch your shoulder. The doorway shoulder stretch is another good exercise that will open your chest, stretch your smaller muscles by your shoulder and even strengthen your shoulders. To do this stretch, you will place your hand and forearm against the wall door frame. The height of your hand and forearm should enable you to have a 90-degree angle at the elbow. Then lean your body away from your hand and forearm using your core.
It is likely that your shoulder pain is related to your body compensating for tightness in other locations such as your neck and chest. Other stretches like head roles where you move your head gently from side to side and down toward your chest can help loosen tension in your neck and shoulders.
When your shoulder lacks strength, not only will your shoulder muscles tighten, it is likely that your neck, chest, and back muscles will tighten to prevent your shoulder joint from moving. To overcome this issue, you can do many different exercises to strengthen your shoulders so that the muscles around it can relax. If you have the strength to hold your body in the downward dog pose, then this can be a great exercise to hold for 1 minute at a time. If you don’t have the strength to hold that position, you can also go from the downward dog position into child’s pose, which will still strengthen your shoulder muscles significantly but also give you more time to rest your shoulder.
Alternative Solutions and Treatments
In addition to undergoing medical treatments, there are also a number of other options that might provide some relief. Chiropractic treatments, acupuncture, and massage therapy are all options that could potentially help. There have been a significant amount of research and studies looking at the benefits of these types of treatments and there have been a lot that suggests they can significantly help your situation. When it comes to chiropractic treatments, a licensed chiropractor has gone through years of training, often more training and schooling than your pediatrician so you can be confident in their abilities. Additionally, most states have significant licensing and certification requirements for a massage therapist to practice so it is likely that they will be able to supplement stretching and exercising. Acupuncture has been around for centuries and many published studies have shown that acupuncture is a great way to relieve pain by targeting specific nerves to provide that relief.
For relief from more minor shoulder pain, something as simple as soaking in a warm bath could help. Similarly, applying ice or heat treatments may also provide some relief. Nonetheless, if the pain is more severe or the problem lasts for more than a few days, it is always best to seek professional medical assistance.