You just finished a long day of work or a great workout at the gym, and then it strikes you again: a deep achy pain in the front of the arm or in the back around your shoulder blade and spine.
Shoulder pain can be a big problem and shoulder pain affects millions of people every year in the United States alone.
In this blog posts I will discuss seven treatments you can do at home to help relieve shoulder pain.
Home remedy for shoulder pain #1: Refrain from activities that are causing the shoulder pain….Rest your shoulder
Oftentimes, shoulder pain is caused by tendonitis from repetitive movements of the arm and back. If you are able to stop and rest from the movements or activities that are causing the underlying shoulder pain it will give your shoulder a chance to heal and decrease the pain and discomfort that you are experiencing.
Home remedy for shoulder pain #2: Use ice
Again, one of the main causes of shoulder pain is tendonitis and inflammation in the ligaments and muscles in the shoulder. Ice is a natural remedy for tendonitis and inflammation. Ice acts by restricting blood circulation, dulling pain signals in the body, and decreasing inflammatory chemicals that get released when the body is experiencing inflammation and injury.
Try to combine number one above (i.e., rest) with number two (ice) for optimal results. Picture the baseball pitcher after a long game wrapping his his shoulder in an ice compression to minimize shoulder pain and repetitive injuries.
Home remedy for shoulder pain #3 Take care of your neck
Problems in the neck are often the underlying cause of shoulder pain. A pinched nerve in the neck can cause pain in the shoulder.
Tight muscles in the neck run down and attach close to the shoulder and around the shoulder blade. Try some neck stretches at home to keep your neck and shoulder muscles loose and limber.
Consider a massage to work the kinks out in the muscles in around the shoulder and neck. If your neck pain is coming from your pillow or mattress at home consider switching out your pillow and mattress until your neck pain and shoulder pains are resolved.
Home remedy for shoulder pain #4: Strengthen the muscles between your shoulder blades, and stretch your chest muscles
Often times, shoulder pain is caused by poor posture. A condition called kyphosis where are your upper back and shoulders are rounded too far forward (picture the Hunchback of Notre Dame) can cause biomechanical stressors on the shoulders and lead to shoulder pain.
If you like to focus on chest and biceps at the gym, take some time to learn how to work your back muscles. Consider taking up yoga or pilates which strengthens the muscles around the shoulder blades and spine. Develop a plan to combat the 8 to 10 hours most of us are in flexion at the computers and all the other activities of daily life.
On the other hand, as we sit in flexion for 8 to 10 hours a day, our chest muscles become chronically shortened and tightened. This pulls on the shoulders forward rounding them excessively causing shoulder pain.
Stretching your contracted pectoral muscles, which may be pulling your shoulders forward, will release your shoulder tension and may decrease your shoulder pain.
Home remedy for shoulder pain #5: Come up with a home exercise strengthening plan for your rotator cuff
You don’t need fancy equipment or a gym membership to strengthen your rotator cuff and shoulder muscles at home. In fact, most research suggests that low tech equipment, such as Therabands, and using your own body’s weight are superior to heavy weights when strengthening your rotator cuff.
If you need any help with a home strengthening plan schedule an appointment, and I will take you through it.
It’s important to note that, oftentimes, there may be a more serious underlying pathology, dysfunction, in the neck or back joints causing your shoulder pain. These conditions require the attention of a licensed medical profession. So, if you have tried treating your shoulder pain at home with no success make sure to seek out an appointment to get an evaluation by a licensed medical professional.
If home remedies are not enough – or if you are looking to add in a layer of professional help to combat and treat your shoulder pain, book an appointment with us today .
Dr. Jeffrey Gerdes, D.C.