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Musculoskeletal System

Shoulder Pain: What’s Causing It and How to Get Relief

Shoulder Pain

Did you know that shoulder pain affects 18–26% of adults in their lifetime? Beyond injuries and overuse, lesser-known factors contribute to this common issue. Understanding the causes is key to finding relief and restoring shoulder health.

This article explores the various causes of shoulder pain and provides practical recommendations for alleviating discomfort and improving shoulder functionality.

What are the Common Causes of Shoulder Pain?

Shoulder pain can be caused by various factors. Let’s explore the most common causes of this pain.

1. Rotator Cuff Injuries

The rotator cuff is a group of muscles and tendons that stabilizes the shoulder joint.

Overuse, repetitive motions, or sudden trauma can lead to strains, tears, or inflammation in the rotator cuff, causing pain in the shoulder.

Common symptoms include weakness, limited range of motion, and pain when lifting or reaching out.

2. Frozen Shoulder (Adhesive Capsulitis)

If you are suffering from stiffness and pain in your shoulder joint, it is highly likely that you have developed a frozen shoulder.

This condition occurs when the capsule surrounding the shoulder thickens and tightens, thereby restricting movement.

The cause of a frozen shoulder is still unknown, but it can occur following an injury, surgery, or prolonged immobilization.

3. Bursitis

Bursae are small fluid-filled sacs that surround joints to cushion bones, tendons, and muscles. Bursitis can occur when these bursae become inflamed, usually caused by repetitive movements or overuse.

Shoulder bursitis frequently causes pain, swelling, and tenderness, especially when performing overhead activities.

Effective Treatments for Shoulder Pain

It is best to see a doctor for shoulder pain. If the pain is not serious, you can try several effective treatments at home.

The following are some effective treatments for pain in the shoulder.

1. Rest and Ice

In cases of acute pain in the shoulder, providing ample rest to the affected shoulder is crucial. Applying ice packs for 15–20 minutes several times daily can also help reduce inflammation and alleviate pain effectively.

2. Pain Medication

If you are experiencing pain in the shoulder, consider taking over-the-counter NSAIDs such as ibuprofen. However, it is important to consult with a doctor before using them frequently or for an extended period of time.

3. Physical Therapy

A structured physical therapy program can be a highly beneficial treatment for shoulder pain.

It helps improve strength, flexibility, and range of motion while reducing pain and promoting healing.

Physical therapists may use various techniques such as manual therapy, exercises, and modalities like ultrasound or electrical stimulation.

Exercises and Stretches for Shoulder Pain

Exercises and stretches specifically designed for shoulder pain can be highly beneficial. Based on our research, here are three effective ones.

1. Pendulum Swing

Stand with one hand on a support surface. Swing the affected arm gently in various directions to promote flexibility and alleviate discomfort.

2. Shoulder Blade Squeeze

Sit or stand comfortably, keeping your arms at your sides. Squeeze your shoulder blades together for a few seconds before releasing them. This exercise for shoulder pain strengthens the muscles supporting the shoulder.

3. Cross-Body Stretch

Stand or sit upright and bring the affected arm across your body with the assistance of your other arm. Hold the stretch for 15–30 seconds, repeating it several times. This stretch enhances flexibility and helps reduce pain.

When to Consult a Doctor for Shoulder Pain

While self-care measures and exercises can often provide relief for mild shoulder pain, it is crucial to consult a doctor in the following situations:

  • The pain persists for more than a few weeks
  • The pain is severe and affects daily activities
  • There is a visible deformity or swelling
  • The shoulder becomes unstable or dislocated
  • There is numbness, tingling, or weakness in the arm or hand
  • The pain is accompanied by fever or unexplained weight loss

Also Read : Exercises to Bring Relief to Joint Pain

Start Your Journey Toward a Pain-Free Shoulder Today

Don’t let shoulder pain hinder your daily life. Seek appropriate treatment to reduce pain and regain functionality. Take action if you experience severe pain and schedule an appointment with a qualified healthcare professional for accurate diagnosis and tailored treatment. 

Ayu Health offers resources for managing shoulder pain and accessing the best care. Reclaim control over your joint health. Visit Ayu Health for more information.

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