Shoulder pain is basically any pain in or around your shoulders.
The shoulder is the most movable joint in our body. The rotor cuff, which is a group of 4 muscles and their tendons, enable the shoulders to have a wide range of motions. Swelling, inflammation, trauma, or injury to the rotor cuff could be a major cause of shoulder pain.
Other causes of shoulder pain include; injury to the neck or bicep, bone spurs in the shoulder region, dislocation of a shoulder joint, arthritis, bursitis, broken shoulder bone, torn cartilage, spinal cord injury, and frozen shoulder. Certain diseases could also lead to shoulder pain. These diseases include; diseases of the heart, liver, gallbladder, as well as diseases of the cervical spine to the neck.
Common symptoms of shoulder pain include; tenderness around the affected shoulder, swelling and inflammation, as well as pain.
For severe shoulder pain, endeavor to consult your doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment.
Here are some tips and good practices, to consider, when dealing with shoulder pain;
- Wrap ice in a cloth and intermittently place and remove it from the shoulder pain region. Avoid placing the ice directly on the skin as this could lead to frostbite.
- Endeavor the rest the affected shoulder as much as possible.
- Strive to maintain a good posture to help hasten the healing of the affected muscle.
- You could elevate the affected arm, with pillows, to help reduce inflammation and swelling.
- You could opt for acupressure or acupuncture to help ease the pain.
- Learn some exercises that would workout the rotor cuff effectively. You could meet a physiotherapist or physician for these exercises.
- Avoid smoking as smoking could delay the healing process.
- Continue to do range-of-motion exercises if you are recovering from tendinitis so as to avoid frozen shoulder.
Below are home remedies for shoulder pain;
1. Epsom Salt Bath
The presence of magnesium sulfate in Epsom salt aids in improving the blood circulation of the body and relieving the pain in shoulder muscles. Epsom salt has a relaxing effect on the entire body that helps in promoting healing. For this remedy, fill your bathtub with warm water and add about 2 cups of Epsom salt. Stir it until it dissolves completely. Relax in this water for 25-30 minutes. Do this 3 times in a week until the pain is completely gone.
2. Cold Compress
Applying cold temperature to the affected area may help in reducing the pain quickly. This remedy numbs the area while reducing inflammation and pain. Take some ice cubes and put it in a plastic bag. Wrap it in a towel and apply the compress in your shoulder region. Apply it for 10-15 minutes and repeat it a few times in a day. A towel soaked in cold water is also effective in relieving the pain. Avoid applying ice directly to the skin as it can damage the skin.
3. Hot Compress
A hot compress can relieve a shoulder pain effectively, however, it should be applied only after the first 48 hours have passed. Hot compress would relax the stressed muscles and ease the pain. Fill hot water in a hot bag and apply it on your shoulder for 12-15 minutes. Do this a few times in a day for a fast healing. You may also stand under a hot shower for 7-10 minutes to ease your neck or shoulder pain.
Turmeric has a powerful anti-inflammatory effect which is known to reduce the swelling and pain in the shoulders. Turmeric contains a compound called curcumin which has antioxidant properties that enable faster healing. Take some turmeric powder and add coconut oil to it to make a thick paste. Gently rub it on the painful muscles and allow it to dry. Then, wash it off thoroughly using warm water. Do this remedy two times in a day.
Another way to use turmeric is to add 1 teaspoon of its powder to a cup of milk. Consume it twice every day for beneficial results. Besides, a supplement of 250-500 mg of turmeric can be taken after consulting a doctor.
Ginger is crammed with anti-inflammatory compounds and antioxidants which may greatly help in reducing pain and swelling from your shoulders. It is also known to improve the circulation of blood in the body which heals the damage in a natural way. Take a tablespoon of grated ginger and put it in water. Let it simmer for 10 minutes. Filter the tea and consume 2-3 cups of it throughout the day. Ginger supplements are also readily available and can be used to treat the condition. However, don’t forget to talk to your doctor before you start taking the supplements.
6. Neck Release
Usually, neck pain is caused by excessive stress on the neck muscles. A neck release exercise soothes the muscles and eases the pain with very little effort. All you have to do is sit in a comfortable chair and place your chin close to your chest. Do this until you feel the stretch in your muscles at the back of your neck. Now lean your head towards your left shoulder to stretch the muscles in your right side and repeat it with the other shoulder. It will release any tension or stress that could be causing pain.
Massage can ease shoulder pain in a natural and effective way. It not only increases the circulation of blood to the area but also relaxes the stiff muscles. Oils that are great for massaging include olive oil, mustard oil, coconut oil and sesame oil. Take some oil of your choice and warm it in a bowl. Spread it on your shoulder muscles and gently massage it while applying a mild pressure. Make sure you do not experience pain while doing so. Keep massaging the area for at least 10-12 minutes. Doing this therapy on a daily basis would help alleviate the pain.
Applying a mild pressure, evenly, on the painful area may help in relieving the stiffness and pain. Compression provides support to the aching shoulder allowing it to heal in quite quickly. You may either use a warm wrap or an elastic bandage. Wrap it around your shoulders and let it stay for some days until you find relief from the pain. It is important not to wrap the bandage too tightly as it may block the normal blood circulation worsening your condition.
9. Chest Expansion
This exercise will easily relieve the pain in the neck muscles. To perform this exercise you may need a strap, exercise band or a rope. Start by putting the rope on your back and hold it tightly in your hands. While lifting your chin, draw your shoulder blades towards each other. Inhale and exhale deeply for some seconds and get back to the initial position. Repeat this exercise 4-5 times daily.
10. Apple Cider Vinegar
This readily available ingredient makes an effective home remedy for shoulder pain. ACV combats inflammation and alkalizes the body to promote healing in a unique way. Simply add 2 cups of it in your bath water and soak in it for half an hour. Do this once every day and continue doing this to completely get rid of the pain. Alternatively, drink a solution made by mixing a tablespoon of ACV in warm water. Add some honey to enhance the taste and drink it twice every day.
11. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is effective in treating a painful shoulder due to its anti-inflammatory properties. Simply take some coconut oil and apply it to the painful areas. Then, massage gently using your fingers for some minutes. This remedy would reduce the swelling and helps in easing the pain. It would also increase the blood circulation to the affected area and heal the area faster. You may also include coconut oil in your cooking to reap its health benefits.
Shoulder pain that is arising due to arthritis can be treated well with lime. Lime has an anti-inflammatory effect which is known to deal with arthritis in an excellent way. All you have to do is mix lime with honey and consume it on a regular basis to ease the condition effectively. This remedy also helps in detoxifying your body by eliminating toxins that are harmful to your health. You could also use lemon if lime is not readily available.
13. Healthy Diet
A healthy diet consisting of foods that are high in proteins may help in developing the muscles around your shoulders and strengthen them to prevent pain. Also, include foods that are high in omega-3 fatty acids to help reduce inflammation and pain.
14. Lavender Oil
The tired and painful muscles of the shoulders can be relaxed and relieved using lavender oil. Just add some drops of it in your bath water and relax in your bathtub for 30 minutes. Do this once every day. You may also warm some olive oil and add a little amount of lavender oil in it. Use this remedy to massage the affected area.
15. Blackstrap Molasses
This ingredient has long been used to relieve pain. It contains a high concentration of magnesium which is useful in reducing swelling and pain. For this remedy, take a quarter cup of blackstrap molasses and add it to half a cup of diluted apple cider vinegar. Also, add a teaspoon of ground ginger. Then, add water to it and mix well. Consume it every day.
Prepare an alfalfa tea and consume it 1-2 times in a day to relieve shoulder pain. This tea increases blood circulation in the body and heals it in a fast way. You may also take an alfalfa supplement after consulting a physician.
17. Black Sesame Seed
Black sesame may also provide you with some relief from a shoulder pain. Black sesame is rich in magnesium and calcium which are good for bone health. Black sesame also has anti-inflammatory properties for relieving swelling and pain. Just soak some of black sesame seeds in water overnight. Take out the seeds and consume them along with some water. You could also add roasted black sesame seeds to your meals. Black sesame seed oil could also be topically applied to the affected area.
18. Hot Pepper
The compound capsaicin, present in hot pepper, is known to reduce pain efficiently. Take half a teaspoon of cayenne or hot pepper and mix it with a little olive oil. Then, add some aloe vera and apply it to the painful shoulders.
19. Olive Oil
Due to its healing effect, olive oil is used in numerous remedies. Applying olive oil can bring effective results. Olive oil contains antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that reduce inflammation as well as pain. For this remedy, warm the olive oil slightly and massage it into your shoulders a few times in a day.
20. Mint Leaves
Fresh mint leaves may impart a soothing and cooling effect that could relieve the pain. It may also ease the burning sensation that is caused due to the pain. For this remedy, crush some fresh leaves of mint and rub it on the aching shoulder.
21. Develop Stronger Rhomboids
Rhomboids are those muscles that are present in between your shoulder blades and are responsible for all the shoulder movements. Having rhomboids that are not strong enough may cause pain in the shoulders. Therefore strengthening them is one of the best ways to prevent a shoulder pain. Do simple everyday exercises such as pushing and pulling, or even reaching out to things, to strengthen these muscles.
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