Injury or posture and hunched shoulders can leave you feeling tight and uncomfortable. Left untreated, it may lead to other problems, including breathing issues and chronic pain. If over time, you have noticed that your shoulder or shoulders have become very hard to move, our pain relief services may be ideal for you.
The shoulder is regarded as one of the most mobile and least stable joint in a person’s body, which means it’s highly prone to injury. When you see a health professional for this, they have a large number of tools at their disposal from a thorough history emphasizing the time and character of the shoulder pain, range of motion and the ability to do everyday activities, and much more.
“Shoulder pain is a common complaint seen at the primary physician’s clinic, and it is the third most common musculoskeletal complaint after back and neck pain”, according to Pubmed. Ran Schwarzkopf, MD authored the January 2008 article titled Shoulder pain: assessment, diagnosis and treatment of common problems. 70% of people either do or will suffer the effects of shoulder pain. Pain treatment is well advanced for this common alignment and help is available. First, let’s start with a basic understanding of a shoulder pain assessment.
A person’s shoulders are the joints where upper-arm bones (humerus), shoulder blades (scapula), and an individual’s collarbone (clavicle) intersect. The design of the human body is ingenious and these three parts are created to function together perfectly. The humerus fits into scapula’s rounded socket on each side of the human body. Shoulders are held in place by a group of four muscles and tendons.
This involves your rotator cuff, which is a fitted cover that protects the humerus bone and lets you raise and move your arm with ease. Over one’s lifetime, the rotator cuff may become worn or damaged and cause shoulder pain.
Accoring to NIH, “Shoulder pain is a common problem with an estimated prevalence of 4% to 26%. The most common source of shoulder pain is the rotator cuff, accounting for over two-thirds of cases.” This makes it a primary concern for treatment at MHPC.
Due to the common use of our arms and hands, most people can’t just ignore shoulder pain.
Shoulder problems rarely go away on their own. Accurately pinpointing which condition is triggering your pain is where to start. Next steps include assess how to effectively and safely achieve lasting pain relief while maintaining your recovered flexibility and renewed range-of-motion.
Your initial shoulder pain diagnosis may include an ideal imaging test. With a planned pain relief approach, activities that leave you increasingly vulnerable to pain will be identified and can be reduced.
Shoulder pain presents in various ways, depending on which body structures are aggravated or experienced damaged. Healing shoulder pain and improving your mobility is commonly accomplished with physical therapy and self-care. The MN Head and Neck Pain clinic offers a proven approach that can help to reduce these causes of persistent shoulder pain.
Most people don’t think about their shoulders much, until they suddenly experience pain in one of them. Pain is actually a good shout out when you need to pay attention to something. Shoulder pain can be triggered by a simple movement like when you twist to get out of your car, brushing or drying your hair, attempting to reach behind your back to fasten a button, or grabbing something off a high shelf.
If something that you once did without a thought of how to do it has become a monumental task, seek help.
How you hold yourself and train your shoulder muscles with each movement contributes to your overall health. Some body movements task the shoulder and upper back muscles. If not carried out properly, they may cause pain and headaches. Avoid shrugging shoulders, forward head posture, repeated twisting or turning the neck.
Remind yourself regularly to identify any tensing habits. Use reminders such as stickers or timers. If noticed, replace negative habits with positive habits of having your head up, chest up, chin in, shoulders relaxed and down. Use a pain log to review daily activities that aggravate the neck and shoulder pain and modify these activities.
Think of what protects your shoulder and neck muscles whether you’re sitting, lying down, walking, or in other positions or activities. Just try to be comfortable so that you end each day pain free. Aim to keep good posture at all times.
Practice calming stress reactions by pausing to take a few deep breaths, quiet your mind, and practice relaxing your shoulder and neck muscles. This helps reduce your reactions to stressful life events and decrease tension in the jaw and oral habits such as clenching.
With some daily stretching and light exercise, you can help to loosen tight muscles and build strength. This is often necessary after a surgery or injury. If your home exercises don’t seem to help, consider seeing a pain doctor or physical therapist to help address your underlying pain issue.
A combination of two or more of the above will establish a clear pain diagnosis and path to becoming pain free. Shoulder pain often occurs in tandem with headache, neck pain, and jaw pain issues.
Other interventions beyond physical therapy may be recommended. Anti-inflammatory medicines commonly help. These may include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for a time, corticosteroid injections, or, in severe and persistent cases, surgery. But most of the time, shoulder pain treatment responds well to non-operative types of medical care.
Short-term use of over-the-counter ibuprofen, naproxen, acetaminophen, or aspirin (without caffeine) can reduce inflammation, joint, and muscle pain. Consider using a combination of ibuprofen and Tylenol before bedtime to relieve pain with sleep. Avoid opioid medications since it increases pain over time.
If your daily work flow requires heavy lifting, you will learn how to use the proper lifting technique. Depending upon your unique situation, it may be fine-tuned but will likely include the following:
Squarely face what you’re about to lifting.
Pay attention to keeping your back straight over your hips.
Bend your knees and use your legs for a power boost.
Eat a healthy low inflammatory diet and get a good night’s sleep; it always helps a body with normal and unusual healing needs. Eat a pain-free sugar-free diet with primarily vegetables, salad, olive oil, nuts, legumes, and seeds. Add protein such as chicken, fish, tofu after salad.
Improve your sleep patterns by creating a sound sleep environment with a cool, quiet, and dark sleeping room.
Avoid caffeine in coffee, tea, and soft drinks. Get a comfortable semi-firm mattress and squishable pillow. Reduce stimulating activities before bed including computer work, video, TV drama, and exercising. Sleep on side or back with pillow to support head and between or under knees.
Avoid sugar and simple carbohydrates that cause inflammation. Avoid caffeine that cause tense muscles, headaches, sleep disorders and may accentuate neck pain and TMJ pain.
Heat, ice and muscle massage can help relieve pain. Apply heat or ice to sore upper back and shoulder muscles and joints. This will help improve healing, reduce the sensitivity of muscles and joints, and encourage healing. Trigger point massage with a thumb, finger or knobble for a few minutes can provide a deep massage to the tender trigger points within tight shoulder muscle bands. This will reduce their tenderness, relax the upper back muscles, and reduce pain.
Do you have questions about your symptoms? Video chat with us today through our telemedicine services.
We can provide a complete shoulder workout to strengthen your shoulder muscles and protect you from future damage and soreness. Our pain management team is knowledgeable about the new breakthroughs that can lessen pain and speed a shoulder injury recovery. You will gain personal tips to strengthen and protect your shoulder’s long-term mobility and durability.
About the author
Jeannie Hill is a digital consultant that specializes in healthcare marketing and Google Business Profile management. Aritcle reviewed by Cory Herman DDS and James Friction DDS.