The shoulder is the body’s most movable joint. This is good and bad news. With this level of function comes the potential for some instability – and certainly pain. Doctors will tell you that there are a number of conditions and injuries that can affect the shoulder.
Common causes of shoulder pain include:
• Arthritis affecting your shoulder joint
• Broken or dislocated bone in your shoulder
• Shoulder separation
• Torn rotator cuff
• Frozen shoulder
• Overuse injuries affecting your shoulder and nearby tissues
Chronic shoulder pain robs you of your quality of life. It doesn’t have to be that way, of course. Here are 5 ways you can take control of your chronic shoulder pain.
1. Avoid Activities. To a point. Depending on what is causing you pain, certain activities and movements could only make the symptoms worse. However, healthcare providers suggest that you should continue using your shoulder for some mild activities because keeping it still could also make your symptoms worse.
Doctors advise you to keep the shoulder mobile with light tasks if possible yet avoid heavy lifting and contact sports for 8 to 12 weeks. You may also be given a sling to wear in order to support the arm for up to a week after the initial injury.
2. Ice packs. If you injure your shoulder while playing a sport you can apply an ice pack to the affected area to reduce pain and inflammation. Applying ice packs mean 10 to 20 minutes. It’s a good idea to wrap the ice pace in a towel to avoid it directly touching your skin and causing ice burn.
3. Painkillers. If the pain is mild, taking painkillers may be enough to control it. Medical professionals say it is important to follow the dosage instructions on the packet to ensure the medicine is suitable and that you do not take too much.
4. Corticosteroid tablets. These medicines are a type of hormone, which have a wide range of effect on the body, including reducing pain and swelling.
5. Corticosteroid injections. Doctors might suggest this approach when the shoulder pain is very severe and when oral painkillers are just not enough to control the pain. These injections in and around the shoulder joint may help relieve the pain and increase your range of movement for several weeks at a time. Doctors say that the injections cannot cure the condition completely, and symptoms could return. Some experts believe that the injection helps reduce pain and allows you to do your physiotherapy and rehabilitation more effectively.