Tension, stress, and even sleeping the wrong way can cause shoulder pain ranging from mildly inconvenient to downright agonizing. Our shoulders are an important part of our everyday life. That’s why it’s so important to take proper care of them, and address shoulder pain the minute we feel it start to come on.
As an orthopedic surgeon specializing in shoulders, I have a few tips I’d like to share with you for shoulder pain relief. If your pain is acute and long-lasting, and these tips don’t seem to be helping, schedule an appointment with your doctor.
However, the majority of shoulder pain boils down to a few simple things. Here’s how to treat it when it happens.
Whether you’re a semi-professional athlete or a fitness junkie, shoulder pain is a sign that your body needs a break. Never try to play through the pain!
Take a few days off to reassess. If you absolutely have to work out during this time, I get it. Try something lightweight and low impact like water aerobics or yoga.
If you injured your shoulder or were involved in an accident, treat the area with ice as quickly as you can. This will help reduce the swelling of the injury.
Icing your muscles is also a great way to treat overuse. However, never ice your muscles before you engage in athletic activity! And be careful not to ice for more than 20 minutes at a time.
Stretch, Stretch, Stretch
I’m looking at you, desk-job workers! Sitting down at a desk all day can be a great way to make a living, but it can also wreak havoc on your shoulders and back.
If you work a desk job, make a point to get up and walk around at least once an hour. When you come back to your desk to sit, do a few shoulder stretches. Roll them forward, then back a couple of times. Inhale deeply as you shrug them up to your ears, then exhale sharply as you relax. Do gentle twists to stretch out your spine.
Every half hour or so, take a break from typing and relax your shoulders and your arms down. Little movements like this give your shoulder muscles a break, and they’ll thank you in the long run.
If you have pain as a result of a sudden injury or muscle strain, take anti-inflammatory medicines like Aleve or Advil for relief.
However, do not overuse these OTC medications! They are not intended for long-term use, and may damage your kidneys if abused.
If you have recurring and long-term shoulder pain as a result of a chronic condition, heat packs are a great way to loosen up your muscles and relieve pain.
However, they should not be used for sudden acute injuries. This is when it’s best to use ice.
How to Prevent Shoulder Pain
Listen to your body! Don’t bite off more than you can chew in the exercise world. There’s nothing wrong with taking things slow and starting off your fitness routine with low-impact workouts like yoga or stretching.
If you work out regularly, make sure you’re giving your body enough time to recover in between workouts. Eat a diet that’s rich with vitamins and minerals, and be sure you’re getting enough calcium and iron.
- Avoid smoking
- When lifting heavy objects, lift with your legs
- Be sure to bend your elbows when reaching for something high and heavy
Suffering From Shoulder Pain? I Can Help
If these tips aren’t helping you overcome intense shoulder pain, please reach out to me to schedule a consultation. There may be an underlying problem in your shoulders that needs to be addressed.
As an orthopedic surgeon, I will help diagnose your pain and recommend a treatment plan that you’re comfortable with. I believe surgery should always be a last resort, which is why I’m committed to helping my patients find flexibility and relief with their treatments. I can help you find the right shoulder pain treatment plan in Raleigh.
Let’s get your shoulders back to feeling 100%!