Your doctor may prescribe medications, physical therapy, or steroid injections to help you deal with the cause of your shoulder pain. These help with the roots of the pain, but you will probably want to add some home measures to help until the treatments begin to work.
Many people experience shoulder joint pain. It can originate in the nerves, muscles, tendons, ligaments, or cartilage. You can feel pain in the neck, arm, shoulder blade, or hand. Treating the problem soon is essential. It can take a few months for the issue to resolve. Here are some at-home ways to ease the pain and solve your shoulder problem.
- Medications: If your doctor doesn’t give you prescription medication, you still have over-the-counter options. You may use an anti-inflammatory medication if you have no conditions which prevent their use. You can buy these at the drug store without a prescription. If your doctor gives you prescription pain medication, do not take ibuprofen or acetaminophens also.
- Compression Wrapping: You can obtain a cold compression bandage, an ACE bandage, or regular elastic medical wrap from a pharmacy. Most of the stores also carry unique shoulder wraps. The wrapping should be snug but not overly so. If your arm or hand becomes tingly or blue, loosen the wrap right away.
- Ice and Cold Compresses: Cold helps with pain and swelling, particularly in the first week after injury. Use an ice pack no longer than 20 minutes five times each day. You can use ice cubes in a plastic bag, a bag of frozen peas, or a frozen gel pack. Be sure to wrap the cold object in a soft towel. If you apply the frozen material directly to your skin, you can suffer a burn.
- Heat Therapy: After the first few days of cold treatment, heat is the next treatment in line. The heat will relax your muscles and un-stiff a shoulder. It also helps with any arthritis problems. You can use a heating pad, a hot water bottle, or a gel pack. Do not sleep with a heating pad. Like ice therapy, alternating 15 minutes at a time with 15 minutes without heat may work well.
- Resting Your Shoulder: You need to stop doing the thing that hurt your shoulder in the first place. Resuming the activity too soon will re-injure the joint. Don’t stop moving altogether, though. Gentle stretching is the right approach. Ask your physical therapist for some range-of-motion exercises that won’t threaten re-injury.
Rotator Cuff Injuries
That impressive range of motion of the glenohumeral joint is due to the rotator cuff, a commonly injured group of four tendons. The purpose of ligaments is to connect your muscles to bones. When the rotator cuff tendons become inflamed, damaged, or swollen, then lifting your arm over your head may be nearly impossible.