About 66 percent of Americans deal with shoulder pain at some point in their life; the odds are if you’re reading this, you’ve felt it too, and you know it’s no routine kind of soreness. Luckily, there are several easy ways to remedy shoulder pain from the comfort of home. Though, if the pain is really intense and continues, don’t tough it out. Make sure you check with a doctor.
Why Shoulder Pain?
Your shoulder, well, shoulders a lot of work (we had to). The shoulders are complicated body parts made up of muscles, tendons, ligaments, and bone. Your shoulder’s job is to allow a wide range of motion for your arm, and because of all that mobility, it’s less stable than a body part like the elbow.
To complicate shoulder pain further, sometimes the pain you’re feeling in your shoulder is caused by stiffness in your neck. Yep, try to have guessed that one. You feel the pain in your shoulder, but the cause of the pain is actually somewhere else. So what can you do?
Bring on the Heat (and Cold)
The most straightforward remedy to relieve pain in your shoulder is to treat it with heat. Plus, it gives you an excellent excuse to take that long, luxurious bath or hot shower you’ve been wanting. A warm bath can help by getting the muscles surrounding your shoulder to relax.
Another technique that will make you feel like a top athlete is alternating cold and hot temperature compresses. This is often used for sports injuries. Just grab an ice pack for ten minutes, then trade that in for a heating pad. If you’re feeling spendy, there are tons of expensive gizmos to heat your shoulder. Just start simple with some hot baths before you buy elaborate shoulder sleeves and braces.
Looking for a small purchase to help with shoulder pain? We’ve got you. An inexpensive and easy way to loosen up the shoulder area is a massage ball. It’s a ball about the size of a tennis ball used to warm-up or cooldown from exercise. (Protip: if you’re watching your budget, just use a tennis ball and skip the fancier massage ball).
To use this little magic ball, lay back with the massage ball between you and the floor, and let it sink into your shoulder blade region. Do this slowly. Now, move around slowly, to experience a solo-mini-shoulder massage. Warning — the relief can get addictive.
Are you crouching over your phone or computer for hours at a time? Yep, thought so. Not to anyone’s surprise, but some gentle yoga can also help relieve chronic shoulder pain. Most yoga routines have stretches that help align and strengthen the shoulders and upper body.
If you are in acute shoulder pain, don’t do this unless you are confident you won’t make it worse (that goes for any exercise or stretching).
Here’s the easiest step to take — chill out! Try to rest the shoulder by focusing on not using it. This works well if you’re only feeling pain on one side. You’d be surprised how capable your body is at healing if you let it. You can also use a simple sling to keep your arm immobilized if you need a reminder.