Shoulder pain is a pain in the butt (actually the shoulder…), and it won’t go unnoticed. Learn the causes of shoulder pain and how to address it…
Shoulder pain, also known as deltoid pain, is one of the most common problems that affect a wide range of people in the US.
An extremely complex joint system in your body, the shoulder joint consists of three major bones which include the scapula, clavicle, and the humerus.
A healthy shoulder is utterly essential for carrying out a variety of activities such as lifting a bucket of water, combing hair, placing items on overhead shelves, opening a door, and so much more.
If you are experiencing any sort of pain in your shoulder, make sure that you seek professional help quickly; otherwise, you won’t be able to engage in the activities of daily living.
Causes Of Shoulder Pain
Shoulder pain can occur due to various reasons such as repetitive motions and poor posture.
According to Reneu Sport & Health, “Most of us often incur shoulder pain due to repetitive motions and poor mechanics or posture. Shoulder pain can even keep you up at night if you tend to sleep on your side as it continues to compress the rotator cuff and subacromial space.”
Arthritis is one of the most common causes of shoulder pain. People with shoulder arthritis not only experience a reduced range of motion, but they also suffer from tremendous pain and discomfort.
Arthritis not only affects your bones and joints, but it’s equally harmful to your muscles, tendons, and ligaments.
Different forms of arthritis that affect the shoulder include osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, post-traumatic arthritis, rotator cuff tear arthropathy, and avascular necrosis.
Tendon Inflammation (Tendinitis)
Accountable for joining muscles to the bones, tendons are highly vital cords that help in the effective functioning of the shoulder joint. Tendon inflammation or tendinitis is one of the most significant causes of shoulder pain.
People with tendinitis find it utterly hard to perform any activity with the hand.
Tendinitis, also known as swimmer’s shoulder and pitcher’s shoulder, can develop in several joints in the body due to injury, aging, and chronic diseases, like diabetes and arthritis.
Shoulder fractures resulting from vehicle accidents, falls, and by playing contact sports can lead to shoulder pain.
In other words, if you injure any of the bones in your shoulder due to a shoulder fracture, you will experience agonizing pain.
Bursitis is simply the inflammation of a bursa – a small sac that contains fluids and words as a cushion between bones and tissues in a joint.
It is one of the primary causes of shoulder pain, as the main function of a bursa helps to minimize the friction between bone and muscle in a joint.
Frozen shoulder is caused by diabetes, surgery, and general inactivity and can also lead to shoulder pain. People with frozen shoulder often experience symptoms like pain, stiffness, and swelling.
Apart from that, tendon tears, shoulder impingement, shoulder instability, & more can lead to shoulder pain.
Ways Of Managing Shoulder Pain
Irrespective of why you are experiencing pain in the shoulder, physical therapy is one of the best ways to manage it. All you have to do is find a reputed physical therapy clinic in your area where you can consult an experienced physical therapist.
Make sure that you describe the symptoms of your shoulder pain effectively to your physical therapist so that it can help them arrive at a diagnosis. Your therapist will examine your range of motion and medical history to identify the underlying cause of your pain.
After identifying the primary source of your shoulder pain, your therapist will design a care plan that will address your problem in the best way possible. They will use techniques like dry needling, sports massage, manual therapy, Kinesio taping, & etc. based on the primary cause of your pain.
For example, if you have injured your shoulder while playing football or tennis, your therapist might use Kinesio Taping and sports massage to reduce your pain and promote the healing process. If you talk about Kinesio Taping, it is nothing but a pain relief technique wherein a patient has to use a therapeutic tape in the affected area to improve circulation, reduce pain, and accelerate the healing process.
Similarly, sports massages help to reduce pain and increase circulation, which eventually increases the ability of your body to deal with the injury.
On the other hand, if the pain in your shoulder is due to arthritis, then your physical therapist may use manual therapy to manage pain.
The best part of relying on a physical therapist is that they devote enormous time to your recovery.
From the very first day, they start working towards increasing your fitness. They keep on tracking your progress every time you meet with them. And in case they come to realize that the techniques they are using are not showing any concrete results in improving your health, then they will create a new care plan for you or will include some other techniques in your current care plan.
Your therapist will also advise you on how to prevent injuries in the future if you are suffering from shoulder pain due to an injury.
If you have poor posture, they will educate you on how to improve it and will teach you posture-enhancing exercises so you can recover from your problem even quicker.
One of the best ways to reduce shoulder pain that stems from conditions like arthritis is to consume anti-inflammatory foods.
You can include olive oil and fish such as salmon, sardines, and tuna in your diet for fighting shoulder inflammation.
You can also enhance the intake of green vegetables and fresh fruits like strawberries, blackberries, and cherries because they contain antioxidants.
According to the Arthritis Foundation, since fruits and vegetables contain antioxidants they strengthen the immune system and help deal with inflammation.
Nuts and seeds are also very good for your health, so you must consume them on a daily basis.
Other than seeking physical therapy and consuming a balanced diet, you should consider performing stretching exercises like shoulder rotation, shoulder rolls, and standing wall stretches for maintaining healthy shoulders.