Shoulder pain can be a very frustrating and draining condition. There can be a number of reasons behind shoulder pain such as a lot of repetitive motions with your arms, which can lead to an injury. Chronic shoulder pain is often caused by prolonged, repetitive, or awkward movements. This type of pain is also known as cumulative trauma disorder or repetitive strain injury (RSI).
But the shoulder can also get hurt in other ways, including:
- Age: As you get older, the natural wear and tear of the muscles and tendons can damage the shoulder.
- Osteoarthritis: A degenerative bone disease in which the cartilage that protects the joints and enables their smooth gliding starts to wear down.
- Impingement or Rotator cuff damage: The rotator cuff muscles and tendons that keep the shoulder together are weakened or torn.
- Dislocation: The upper arm bone may come out of the shoulder socket, which hurts a lot. This can happen due to an injury or trauma.
- Frozen shoulder: The connective tissues that supports the shoulder may thicken and tighten around the joint. This restricts the movement of the shoulder and hurt.
Treating shoulder pain
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When the shoulder aches after some extensive physical activity or a rigorous sports game, you can mostly treat it yourself with rest and ice. Avoid certain movements such as reaching overhead and apply ice packs every few hours to reduce pain and inflammation. Immobilize if the damage to the shoulder is more, the doctor may immobilize the shoulder by wearing a sling. Pain can also be managed by over-the-counter medications such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and others
If the shoulder pain is persistent or develops slowly, it’s better to get it checked with your doctor. The longer the pain persists, the more difficult it becomes for your shoulder to move. It may even enable you from lifting your arm over the head (frozen shoulder).
The doctor may refer you to a physical therapist, who will help you strengthen your shoulder muscles and improve its movement.
If the damage to the shoulder is serious, you may be recommended for a shoulder joint replacement. This surgery can be used to treat painful conditions of the shoulder, such as fracture and arthritis. Shoulder replacement surgery cost is relatively lower in top medical tourism countries, including India, Turkey, Thailand and others.
7 Easy Ways to Prevent Shoulder Pain
1. Listen to your body:
When you feel your shoulder is getting sore or aching after a certain activity or movement, pay attention to it. If the pain is severe and persists, it is best to see a doctor.
2. Stay physically active:
Exercise regularly and keep your body in a healthy physical shape. This can help strengthen your body and avoid injury to the muscles.
3. Perform exercises in the right way:
Warm up is very important before a work out. You should start slowly if you haven’t been involved in a sports activity in a while
4. Correct posture:
Take care of your posture and how you sit all day. During the day, when you’re sitting at your desk, keep in mind to:
- Plant your feet firm and flat on the ground or a footrest
- Keep your thighs parallel to the ground
- Keep support for your lower back
- Support your elbows and keep them close to your body
- Keep your wrists and hands aligned with your forearms
- Relax the shoulders
5. Arrange your workspace
Try to become more efficient at work. Keep your desk in same level with your elbows while sitting. If the desk is too high, it can lead to shoulder fatigue. Your computer screen should be about an arm’s length away from you and your monitor as well as keyboard should be centered in front of you.
6. Keep a headset
If you have to talk a lot on the phone in your job, consider investing in a headset. If not a headset, try to avoid cradling the phone between the ear and shoulder while talking. At least, keep it within an easy reach. This way, you can keep on typing or using a mouse while talking.
7. Take breaks or walks in between
Experts suggest taking a 30-second micro break every 30 minutes throughout the day. With each break, shake out your hands and arms. You can also relax your eyes and massage head and neck muscles.
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