A pain in the …. shoulder
Shoulder pain is a common complaint that I see people aged 35- 70 coming into my clinic with. It’s probably next in line behind back pain, knee pain and neck pain (although shoulder pain and neck pain often go hand in hand).
There are actually far more people suffering with shoulder pain this, but I think a lot of people just put up with it and struggle on with it, until it becomes too much to handle.
When this happens, it really can become a problem, as anyone who has had a bad case of shoulder pain will tell you how difficult it can be to get a comfortable sleep at night and just how sore it can be.
So if you have some shoulder pain at the moment, you will be probably be thinking ‘what can I do to help this and is there anything I can do to prevent this from getting any worse?’
Apart from the ‘go seek help from a physio’ answer, lets take a look and see is there anything that you can do first.
Is there a logical explanation for this shoulder pain?
This is the first question you can ask yourself. ‘Did I do anything recently that explains the pain that I am getting’. This can be useful to know because if there a logical reason for the pain, then it can help explain what type of injury has occurred.
For example, is it an overuse muscle injury, a muscle tear, an irritated nerve or an inflamed bursa. All of these will have slightly different healing times and will require a slightly different rehab approach.
An overuse injury could be if you were you digging in the garden for most of the weekend?
A muscle tear could be something that involves more force like a fall or a sudden movement.
A irritated nerve can happen when you have to stay in the one position for a long time, like when you have to work on your laptop for a few days to get a project finished.
And an inflamed bursa can happen as a result of a repetitive movement also or something that required a lot of overhead movements like painting a ceiling.
Sometimes there is not a logical explanation and this can happen. If you are concerned it is always best to seek a medical opinion from a doctor or physio.
Is there a position that eases the pain?
This is something that people will almost naturally try and find. If there is a movement you can do that eases the pain, then great, as it is always good to break up the pattern of pain.
Try moving your arm up, down, back, front to see if any position helps it. If it does you can keep it there for a short while, but not too long as keeping it one position for too long can cause more pain and stiffness.
Gentle movements are best to try and keep the range of motion you have and to help the muscles to relax and ease the pain.
Does movement help
The aim after any type of injury is to get it moving again in a pain-free and relaxed way, so long as it is safe and not going to cause any further damage.
So try a little bit of movement and see what you are able to do. Gentle and slow movements are best at first.
This will help to keep the range of motion you have and will also try to help the muscles relax to ease the pain.
Avoid activities that can aggravate it
This is one that most people (but not all), will do naturally. If there is a movement that causes pain, then avoid it for the short term to give the shoulder a chance to settle down and recover.
As with all injuries, the first protocol is to protect and do no further harm. If there was an activity that caused the pain in the first place, then you are going to have to avoid that activity for the time been if possible.
If this is not possible, then my advice is to go and seek a physio and get it checked out.
What is your pain getting in the way of you doing?
This is the big question. What impact is this pain having on your life and do you want to live with it for the foreseeable future?
If you can, then your options are to try what I said above, wait a while and see does it clear up.
If you can’t and it is stopping your from working, exercising, sleeping or is putting you in bad form, then my advise is to go get it checked it out and get back to living the life that you want to live.
In the majority of cases, a physio will be able to help and in my clinic, the majority of people who come through my doors with shoulder pain, end up leaving with no shoulder pain.
If it is a case where physio is not the best option then I will tell you what the best option is.
Want to find out more?
If you would like to know more about shoulder pain and would like some more advice and tips to help ease you shoulder pain, you can download my ebook for free, by clicking on the link below.
It contains 7 tips to help ease you shoulder and neck pain.[row_inner_3 style=”collapse” width=”full-width”] [col_inner_3 span=”6″] Click here to download 7 tips to help ease neck and shoulder pain [/col_inner_3]
Or if you would like to get your shoulder problem helped NOW
Call the clinic on 09064 66761