FEELING GREAT: Tackling the issue of shoulder pain

Easing shoulder pains.
Easing shoulder pains.

Let’s talk about shoulder pain, and the most common cause most shoulder injuries share in common – overuse.

Now when it comes to aches and pains there are just two ways that bring them on. Number one, you can have an accident. With an accident you know exactly the moment it happens, as there’s an incident that’s usually accompanied by a pain that makes you yell and want to curl up in a ball. We call this acute pain.

Number two is related to something you’re doing that causes annoying persistent pain – this is the most common one we see in the clinic, known as chronic pain.

Chronic shoulder pain is identified as pain that’s always there, and it isn’t always put down to one particular movement or activity. It’s the reason you go to grab your shoulder after lifting something heavy or when you go to reach for something in the back of the cupboard. Those who have this type of shoulder pain often feel doomed, as if they were just plagued with bad shoulders.

But there’s simple ways to ease it, and help fix it.

Chronic shoulder pain can be caused by many things – ironing, painting, a job where you have to lift heavy things, and even sitting!

So what can you do about it if it’s happening to you?

Well firstly I want you to know that ‘overuse’ doesn’t exactly mean doing an activity too much (so I’m sorry, but something like ironing isn’t the culprit, unfortunately).

Overuse means doing the ‘wrong things’ too much.

You could have weak muscles in your arms, back and shoulders, poor posture when sitting and standing and you could have spent most of your life sleeping in an awkward position.

So let’s look at some ways you can ease annoying, daily, irritating shoulder pain that disturbs your sleep and gets in the way of almost everything.

Whenever you’re feeling achy or painful, such as at the end of a busy day, ice is by far the best way to ease the pain. Apply an ice pack for ten minutes or so, little but very often every hour.

And when to use heat? When you wake up in the morning the muscles are likely to be a little stiff and cold from not moving all night, applying a hot water bottle will help you move your shoulder with more ease. Again ten minutes should do it.

Next let’s take a look at sleep. How many pillows do you sleep with? Two, or one? If you’re used to sleeping with two pillows this one may feel a little strange at first but in the long run, it’ll do your shoulders a world of good.

Sleeping with one pillow lowers the amount of stretching and tension that happens in your neck and shoulders at night. Drop down to just one soft pillow and you’ll notice a difference.

And lastly if you’ve been putting up with the pain for several weeks now, even months, getting some hands-on treatment is going to help ease the pain fast. In fact there isn’t a faster way to ease shoulder pain than by going to see a physio.

Physio will be able to soothe and relax tight aching muscles, as well as give you personalised exercises that will help strengthen your muscles and make sure your posture is perfectly aligned.

If you’d like more tips like this, visit my website and download free tips – www.paulgoughphysio.com/neck-shoulder-pain