We never really pay much attention to our shoulders until we feel a sudden pain. Even the slightest discomfort in our shoulders can make the performance of daily activities difficult, disabling us from working well or even sleeping right. It is the third most commonly reported joint pain and about 26% of cases show continued prevalence. The first thing that comes to mind when this happens is, “Did I lift something heavy the other day? Or did I strain myself while working out?”. While in most cases these could be the reasons for that dreaded pain, sometimes the reasons could be beyond our control and may require the necessary attention. So before delving into the remedies for shoulder pain, let us first take a look at some of the most common causes.
Common Causes of Shoulder Pain
The shoulder is a mobile joint put together by bones, muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Although the anatomy of it may seem complex it is important to understand from exactly where the pain originates, and what may have caused it.
Rotator Cuff Injuries
The Rotator Cuff is the group of muscles around the shoulder that help in its all-around movement. Injuries to these muscles can either be due to overuse, strain from stretching it too far, or could even be a tear from a heavy fall.
Sometimes you feel a sharp pain from lifting your arms overhead for too long. This is impingement, when the rotator cuff tendons get pinched by the shoulder bones, immediately leading to swelling up and pain.
The shoulder becomes completely stiff and rigid, and has constant aching pain, over time the pain gets worse, eventually losing mobility. This can last for a period of 1 to 3 years. Women between the ages of 40 to 60, diabetics, heart patients, and those who underwent recent surgery are more susceptible.
When there is an extreme external force applied on the shoulder, it can pull the upper arm bone out of the socket. This creates a very sharp pain, and can only be rectified by a doctor. Shoulder dislocations often happen during contact sports.
A fracture in simple terms is when the bone breaks. This can happen due to a heavy external force, like falling from a great height, or getting hit during contact sports, or even from a vehicle accident. Antagonizing pain, bruising, and swelling can be seen immediately.
Eight Easy Home Remedies for Shoulder Pain
Injuries such as dislocation and fractures can only be fixed by doctors, while rotator cuff strains, impingement, and frozen shoulders can be remedied at home as well. Let’s take a look at some of the easy solutions one can find at home for shoulder pain.
1. Heat Compression
Using a heating pad, hot water bag or even taking a hot shower will help soothe the pain. The heat helps in releasing the tensed muscles and relaxing the shoulder. This can be used for those who have sustained older injuries and new injuries as well. It is important to keep in mind that if using an electric heating pad, always use it at medium heat. The body responds well with bearable heat, too much of it might just aggravate the injury.
2. Ice Therapy
When the shoulder is inflamed or swelled up, it helps to apply an ice pack to the affected area for at least 20 minutes. This loosens up the muscles and helps ease into mobility. If you do not have an ice pack at home using a towel wrapped around some ice should work as well. Apply the ice pack for at least 3 to 5 times a day to see a better and lasting result.
3. Epsom Salt Bath
Epsom salt has a high concentration of sulfate and magnesium which helps in relieving pain. This is a method that has been used for over 100 years to increase bone strength and reduce muscle soreness. Dissolve the salt in with your bath water and soak in it for at least 30 minutes. Repeat this three times a week based on its effectiveness on your body. If not a bath, try taking a towel dipped in the Epsom salt water solution and gently press it against your shoulder for a few minutes.
4. Shoulder Massage
A good massage is not only soothing but also gives a yielding relief from shoulder pain. Gently press down the injured area, this eases the taut muscles and tissues. Using some warm Olive Oil while massaging can help improve the condition, as it increases blood circulation and reduces swelling. Make sure that the oil is not too hot for the body, just warm enough to relieve the pain.
Watch this video to learn how to give yourself a shoulder massage.
5. Lime Juice
A simple squeeze of lime brings a host of health benefits, from improving joint pains to aiding digestion. The citrus found in limes have anti-inflammatory properties, and also help in increasing blood circulation. One glass of lime juice mixed with water and a teaspoon of honey will help heal the shoulder pain. Drinking this on an everyday basis helps your immunity.
Mint contains anti-neuralgic properties, i.e. it contains agents that help in easing strained nerves. The shoulder muscles are surrounded by nerves, any forceful activity can trigger the nerve endings causing sharp pain. Crush a few mint leaves with a few drops of water to make a paste, apply this like a balm onto your shoulder, and let it sit for about 20 minutes. Wash it off with cold water, and repeat if necessary twice a day.
The anti-inflammatory agents in Turmeric called curcumins, have been used for ages to relieve swelling and inflammation. It has been deemed to be effective when taken orally or even applied topically. Take 2 teaspoons of turmeric and mix it with a little bit of coconut oil, this makes an ointment that can be rubbed on your shoulder. After 20 minutes wash it off with warm water, once again repeat if necessary twice a day. Turmeric can also be mixed with warm milk and consumed orally once a day, this not only heals injuries but also boosts immunity.
8. Stretch it Out
Following a few light exercises on the regular will help keep your muscles worked and toned to avoid any further harm. It is important to keep in mind not to overwork yourself as that can lead to pain in itself. Doing the crossover arm stretch, by bringing one arm horizontally across your chest and pulling it as far as you can without straining, will help stretch out those muscles.
Check out this video to learn more exercises you can do at home.
No matter what remedies we might try at home it is always essential to visit your doctor and get their consultation. There are many ways to fight through shoulder pain, if none of these work, then do try out the My Dr. Pain Relief Spray. Its effectiveness has proven to be safe and enduring to all, much like our promise “pain relief for all ages”.