Shoulder pain can be one of the most debilitating kinds of injuries to deal with and in some cases may even disturb your sleeping cycle. Shoulder injuries are common from daily activities in every day life. If you are experiencing pain to this extent, here is a list of 6 conservative treatment options to try at home.
1. Over the counter Non-steroidal Anti-inflammatory medications or NSAIDS. There are two major generic types of NSAIDS: Ibuprofen and Naproxen.
Both used to be by prescription and are relatively safe to use per their labels. Brand names include Advil (for Ibuprofen) and Aleve (for naproxen). Use only if approved by your physician.
2. Apply heat to your shoulder. This can be accomplished by a mild hot shower on your shoulder for about 5 to 10 minutes. Often patients have shoulder pain from sleeping. A good hot shower can certainly help with this pain. Or you can use an electric hot pack. If using the electric hot pack, set on medium heat not high heat level.
Research shows us that our bodies respond to medium heat levels better than intense heat levels. Also, microwave pellets or “rice” hot packs work well at home.
But be careful not to apply heat to an acute or new injury. Check out this article to understand the difference between heat and ice.
3. Apply ice to your shoulder. A cold pack inside a pillow case for ten minutes can be great. Ice massage is also an option but ice should not be left in direct contact with the skin for over 5 minutes due to the very real possibility of frostbite.
4. Stretches. Stretching the musculature that encompasses the shoulder joint can not only help with your pain but can also possibly prevent future injury. Muscles that are capable of moving freely through your shoulder's natural motion will not have the constant stress that a tight muscle experiences.
5. Salt Bathe. This is definitely “old school” but has some recent merit on television with Dr. Oz. Fill a bathtub with warm water and add Epsom or another brand of bathing salts.
Soak immersed in the tub for 10 to 15 minutes. The salts are soothing to the skin and very relaxing if you are experiencing more of a cramping pain.
6. Massage. Get a family member to knead your muscles that are sore. If you are very independent, find a sock and a tennis ball. Put a tennis ball inside a sock. Place the sock and ball at the back of your shoulder where it is sore. Now, go against a wall and apply pressure to the tennis ball and roll around, thus giving yourself a massage. If that doesn't prove effective, you can look into visiting a sports massage therapist.
Often in therapy we are asked, "How can I get rid of this shoulder pain?". The answer is that you can certainly try some of the home remedies. Other than home remedies, there are other ways to treat patients for shoulder pain. JOI clinicians typically concentrate on the flexibility of the shoulder and implement new exercises to improve mobility. There are multiple hands-on techniques to better the mobility of the joints to treat shoulder pain. In some cases, patients will undergo strength training as a way to treat their shoulder pain. Lastly, electrical modalities such as ultrasound, laser and E-Stim (electric stimulation) may be used to remedy the pain.
If you are interested in scheduling an appointment at JOI Rehab for physical therapy, go to: JOIonline.net or call 904-858-7045
If you want to learn more on how to treat shoulder pain, go to: https://www.joionline.net/trending/content/5-things-may-cause-shoulder-pain
By: Julia Guthart, Occupational Therapist/Certified Hand Therapist