Shoulder pain is a common problem that affects millions of people. One reason that shoulder pain is so common is the number of potential causes— shoulder pain can be related to ligaments, cartilage, nerves, tendons, and muscles. The pain can also stretch from the shoulder down the arms or up the neck.
The earlier you recognize, diagnose, and treat shoulder pain, the better. Treatment can take up to eight weeks to be fully effective. There are plenty of at-home remedies you can employ to make things easier.
What Causes Shoulder Pain?
One of the most challenging things about shoulder pain is determining the root cause. Several things contribute to shoulder clicking and pain. The most common cause of shoulder pain is rotator cuff tendonitis; a condition caused by swollen tendons. Impingement syndrome is another common cause. This is when the rotator cuff is caught between the humeral head and the acromion.
Other common causes include arthritis, torn cartilage and rotator cuffs, frozen shoulder, pinched nerves, and bone spurs.
Shoulder Pain Remedies
There are several potential treatments for shoulder pain. Which treatment is right for you depends on the root cause of the problem. Some treatments are effective against one issue but not others. While various treatments may even exacerbate shoulder pain instead of treating it.
You should seek medical advice to understand which type of shoulder pain you have and which treatment you need before choosing a treatment program. We’ve compiled a list of potential shoulder pain remedies. Keep in mind these aren’t suited to all forms of shoulder pain.
Rest is the first step to treating shoulder pain problems. Let your shoulder and joints have time to rest so the pain subsides. Please be careful when resting, however, as it’s possible to rest too much. Not moving your shoulder enough leads to stiffness, which only makes potential shoulder problems worse.
Hot and Cold Treatments
Ice packs are used to reduce swelling and pain from injuries, such as bursitis and rotator cuff tendonitis. Ice works best when applied as soon as possible. It’s best to apply the ice right after the activity to prevent inflammation, which causes further shoulder clicking and pain.
Heat pads can help with shoulder pain too. They are best when applied before performing activity rather than after. Heat pads relax the muscles, reduce pain, and relieve joint stiffness.
It’s recommended that you talk to your physical therapist or doctor before applying cold or hot treatments to your shoulder. They will help you develop a specific treatment plan for your shoulder to optimize recovery and eliminate shoulder pain as quickly as possible.
Physical therapy for shoulder pain is an integral part of treating shoulder pain. Professionals like physical therapists use a range of different modalities to better restore strength and mobility to your joints. These movements help you regain your pre-injury activity levels. Other physical activities, such as yoga for shoulder blade pain, are excellent choices. Physical activity is one of the most effective natural remedies for shoulder pain. Just be careful to avoid working too much and consider talking to a physical therapist to ensure you do the right activities for your pain. You don’t want to make things worse.
Shoulder pain medications are split into two groups; nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) and steroids.
NSAIDs cover a wide range of medications, some of which are available as over-the-counter solutions. Ibuprofen is an example of an OTC NSAID. OME NSAIDs are only available through prescription, such as Voltaren/diclofenac. These medications are effective for arthritis, tendonitis, and bursitis.
Steroid injections are only available via prescription. These injections are when your doctor administers a shot of cortisone into your shoulder. Cortisone is a steroid used to reduce inflammation. Cortisone injections reduce shoulder pain and make it easier to perform physical therapy and recover from the pain on a more long-term basis.
There are several types of shoulder surgery depending on the underlying cause of pain. Shoulder surgery is reserved for extreme cases of shoulder pain and specific injuries. Doctors will often try other methods first and move on to surgery if it is necessary. You should consult an orthopedic surgeon if you are considering shoulder surgery.
Stem Cell Therapy
Stem cell therapy for shoulder pain is a relatively new idea. This type of therapy involves injecting stem cells — a “basic” cell that can become any other cell — into the shoulder. The stem cells respond to the inflammatory signals coming from damaged tissues. Stem cells have several ways to help reduce pain in the shoulders. For example, they can become the cells needed to correct the issue to repair damaged tissue and bolster the repair process.
There are a few pros and cons of stem cell therapy to consider. One of the main advantages to stem cell therapy in California is that it is a non-invasive treatment option. Stem cells avoid the need for surgery or other invasive techniques. They also rebuild damaged tissue, which helps treat the root cause to prevent further issues. One of the downsides of stem cells is the cost of stem cell therapy for shoulder pain. Stem cell therapy doesn’t cost as much as it used to but could still be considered too much by some. Talk to a stem cell therapy Los Angeles provider to learn more about the pros, cons, and costs.
The Bottom Line
As you can see, there are many potential causes for shoulder pain. The pain sometimes spreads to other parts of the body, including your neck and arm. The most common cause of shoulder problems are problems with the rotator cuff, including bursitis and tendonitis.
You may be able to manage pain at home using over-the-counter medications and pain relief. In more severe cases, you may need stem cell therapy or even surgery. Be sure to consult your doctor if your pain problems get too much for you and you need extra help.