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Shoulder Pain And How To Treat It

Shoulder, having a wide and versatile range of motion, when goes wrong, restricts the ability to move freely and can cause pain and discomfort. The shoulder joint is the most mobile joint in the body, and it moves the shoulder forward and backward. Shoulders get their range of motion from the rotator cuff.

Most shoulder problems fall into these categories-

1. Tendon inflammation- tendons are thick cords that connect the bones; when they become irritated for inflamed, it causes tendinitis.

2. Instability- shoulder instability occurs when the structures surrounding the shoulder joint do not work to maintain the shoulder joint called ball and socket; the joint being loose may slide partially out of place and causes dislocation of the joint.

3. Arthritis- Shoulder arthritis occurs when the cartilage (firm tissue) wears down on the sides of the shoulder joint, causing pain, stiffness, and a reduced range of motion.

4. Fracture of shoulder bone called the humerus

5. Other less common causes of shoulder pain are tumors, infection, and nerve-related problems.

Tips To Manage Shoulder Pain

Shoulder pain, if ignored, might lead to severe conditions, and hence it is essential to follow certain tips to prevent/manage shoulder pain.

Simple shoulder exercises can help stretch and strengthen shoulder muscles.

If you have had injuries, use ice for 15 minutes after exercising to prevent future injuries.

Apply heat to the shoulder by taking a hot shower or applying hot pack to the pain area

Get a massage to the shoulder when there is pain

When there is pain, wrap the shoulder with a compression bandage to help reduce swelling and pain.

Here are few simple shoulder stretch exercises

Stop and change the activity that might have caused the shoulder pain.

Regular shoulder exercises can help keep the shoulder strong and flexible.

1. Seated shoulder stretch– primarily stretches the shoulder

Starting position: Sit up straight on a chair. Put your left hand on your right shoulder. Cup your left elbow with your right hand.

Movement: Roll your shoulders down and back, then gently pull your left elbow across your chest as you extend your left arm. Feel the stretch in your left shoulder. Hold. Return to the starting position, then repeat on the opposite side. This is one rep.

Reps: 2–4 Hold: 10–30 seconds

2. Seated triceps stretch– Primarily stretches the back of the upper arm and the shoulder

Starting position: Sit up straight. Place your right hand on your right shoulder. Clasp your right elbow with your left hand.

Movement: Keeping your shoulders down and back, lift your right elbow up toward the ceiling to the point of tightness. Feel the stretch in the back of your upper right arm and shoulder. Hold. Return to the starting position. Repeat on the other side. This is one rep.

Reps: 2–4Hold: 10–30 seconds

3. Seated chest stretch- Primarily stretches the chest and shoulders

Starting position: Sit up straight facing sideways in a chair without arms.

Movement: Roll your shoulders down and back. Clasp your hands behind you, intertwining your fingers, so your palms face you. Gently lift your hands toward the ceiling to the point of tightness. Feel the stretch in the front of your shoulders and across your chest. Hold. Slowly return to the starting position.

Reps: 2–4, Hold: 10–30 seconds

Seek Medical Help If You Have-

  1. Injured shoulder

  2. Trouble breathing

  3. Chest tightness

  4. Dizziness

  5. Excess sweating

  6. Pain in the neck or jaw

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