How to fix shoulder pain. Shoulder pain types and treatment options
Shoulder pain can happen to anyone, and it can affect your cartilage, ligaments, muscles, or tendons. After reading this text, you'll be able to understand where your shoulder pain is coming from and how to treat it.
If you are experiencing intense pain or know that you have been injured, immediately see your physician. If you have a generalized light pain in your shoulder, you can try to treat it on your own and you will learn how to do so by reading this text. However, if the pain doesn't go away after a couple of weeks, you should consult your physician.
How to understand the shoulder pain source
Let's try to find out the source of your shoulder pain and if it is originating from your bones, muscles, tendons, or joints.
Bone pain is usually deep, penetrating, or dull. It's usually caused by trauma.
Muscle pain is weaker than bone pain, but can cause extreme discomfort. It can be caused by damaged muscles as a result of trauma, stretching, blood supply disruption, infection, or swelling.
Pain in the tendons or ligaments is usually sharp and is worsened when stretching or moving the damaged tendon or ligament, and the pain isn't as extreme when at rest.
Joint pain is worsened with movement, but doesn't go away even while still. In cases where the pain is caused in ligaments, tendons, or joint capsules near joints, the pain may also be felt in the joint. Thus, it's hard to diagnose independently.
A medical exam can help accurately determine the cause of your shoulder pain. Additionally, a doctor's consultation is necessary to find an effective solution to your problem. Now we will tell you about simple solutions that can help heal your shoulder in household conditions.
How to stop shoulder pain in home
Each problem requires an individual approach, so follow our general advice carefully and always listen to your body.
Try to avoid putting stress on your shoulder for at least a couple of days. This means not lifting heavy objects, not raising your arm, and not pulling objects. Bed rest isn't the best idea since you need some movement to stimulate blood flow and engage your rapid healing response.
Change the position that you are sleeping in. Shoulder pain may be caused by mattresses that are too soft or pillows that are too thick. To decrease your shoulder pain, sleep on your back for a few days, or even a week if necessary. Picking the appropriate pillow to put under your head can also unburden your shoulder joints.
Cold compresses constrict your blood vessels (and limit blood flow) and decrease the sensitivity of your nerves. Use ice every hour for 10 to 15 minutes to decrease swelling and pain after trauma or injury, and then decrease the frequency after the pain in your shoulder has decreased and the swelling has lessened.
! Make sure to wrap the ice or frozen gel bag in a thin towel in order to avoid frostbite.
A heating compress can help with chronic pain. A wet heating compress in the morning will soothe the pain, decrease the numbness, and increase your shoulder's mobility. For example, do this if you have non-inflammatory osteoarthritis in your shoulder (for wear and tear in the tissues).
! If you use a heating pad, avoid burns by not placing the pad directly on your bare skin.
If your muscles are moderately strained, a light stretch can help by removing the muscle load, improving blood flow, and restoring flexibility. Stretch your muscles (without any sudden movement) for 30 seconds three times a day.
- Pain medication
Non-steroid anti-inflammatory medicine such as ibuprofen can help decrease swelling, pain, and fever. Without consulting your doctor, you should take this medication carefully and for no longer than five days. Always read and follow the instructions of any medication you are taking.
As an alternative, you can use an ointment, cream, or lotion for your shoulder that has natural pain killing ingredients. Menthol, camphor, arnica, and capsaicin can help decrease your muscle and bone pain. Make sure that you are not allergic to these compounds before using them.
You can watch our video on this topic. You'll also learn when it's best to use cold or heat in treating your shoulder pain. If you have any questions, please write them in the comments and we will answer all of them.