Ouch! Chronic shoulder pain is frustrating and debilitating…read on for insightful tips!
Shoulder pain is one of the most common conditions we see at Zama. We would like to help you prevent shoulder injuries and give you a few simple tips to soothe and prevent shoulder pain.
We often take our shoulders for granted, until we have an injury.
Everyday activities such as driving, picking up your child, brushing your teeth, showering, sleeping, even working at a computer become difficult and often excruciating. If fitness is a priority, a shoulder injury can be even more upsetting, as many regular strength building activities have to be put on hold until the shoulder heals.
The shoulder is the most mobile joint in the body, which also makes it prone to injury.
The shoulder joint is a complex system built of bones, joints, connective tissues and muscles. The most common cause of shoulder injuries are related to overuse and repetitive activities such as swimming, tennis, job related movements like use of power tools or cutting hair, or extended hours sitting at a computer. The most common shoulder injuries are bursitis, tendonitis, tendon tears, instability, arthritis, and fractures. The common theme with shoulder injuries is that they usually are created over time and take weeks, months, and years to heal. Unfortunately, shoulder issues are not easily resolved, this is why we like to focus on prevention!
Top 5 shoulder pain prevention tips!
Stay in good overall shape.
Strengthen your wrist, arm, shoulder, neck, and back muscles to help protect and decrease stress on your shoulder. Strengthening your core will take pressure off of your shoulder during weight bearing activities and improve your posture.
Focus on posture.
Whether you are standing or sitting, focus on bringing your shoulders down and back, away from your ears. Engage the back of your body to pull your shoulders into alignment. Check in with your feet and see that they are evenly resting on the floor if you are sitting, or evenly pressing into the floor if you are standing. Engage your abdominal wall by internally pulling your navel to your spine.
Externally rotate your arms often.
Too much internal rotation of the arms leads to excessive wear and tear on the shoulders. Simply focusing on externally rotating your forearms outward will open your shoulder joint and release tension.
Mix up your upper body activities.
Avoid repetitive activities at work and in your exercise routines. Work with a physical trainer, experienced yoga teacher, or other movement specialist to ensure that your regular activities contain variety and whole body strength and flexibility builders.
Work with a massage therapist, acupuncturist, or chiropractor.
Did you know that during a regular, preventative massage your therapist can tell you which muscles are getting too much action and which ones not enough? Work with an experienced body worker and they will help you prevent potential injury and give you a list of activities and exercises you can do to bring your body into alignment and balance. Pretty cool, huh!?
Tips for soothing and helping unresolved shoulder pain:
As we discussed earlier, there are many causes of shoulder pain and there is simply not one single effective approach. The following are our top tips that have proven to be successful for many suffers of shoulder pain. Definitely see your doctor for specific recommendations.
Ice and heat therapies.
Use ice to control pain after activities and while you are recovering and seeking pain relief. When you are first experiencing an injury, apply an ice pack for 15 minutes every other hour for the first few hours, and then three times a day until you’re free of pain. Conversely, heating up deep tissue with moist heat pack or ultrasound treatment can aid in deep tissue recovery.
This could simply mean more sleep and de-stressing, which will loosen your body and aid in recovery. This may mean taking a break from straining activities or using a sling to immobilize your shoulder joint. Each injury is unique. Some require taking a break and others simply require greater self care and increased recovery activities. Keeping a good attitude about pain is important, as well. Overly stressing about an injury can make it worse. Many injuries can be simultaneously addressed while staying active and embracing activities that take stress off the shoulder joint and strengthen stabilizer muscles.
Essential oils and topical treatments.
Yep, we, along with millions of natural remedy aficionados love the soothing power of plant based topical therapies. Apply diluted lavender, frankincense, peppermint, and wintergreen oils for natural muscle relaxation, inflammatory support, and pain relief. Deep Blue Rub and arnica creams are proven to sooth and provide instant pain relief. Biofreeze is an in-house favorite as well.
- Cupping.Cupping provides phenomenal pain relief. Cupping uses suction to soften adhesion(s), open up connective tissues, stimulate blood flow, induce relaxation and most importantly relieve pain. The result: expedited recovery, improved range of motion, and decreased pain.
Massage, massage, massage!
Every day we see our guests drastically feel better with the variety of massage technologies we offer. Our Detoxifier Signature Package and Pain Away Package are built to support you during times of injury and pain. Massage, cupping, and our moist heat therapies will increase circulation, while decreasing inflammation, which will speed up your recovery and get you back into all the activities you love and need to do!