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Shoulder Problem - What Can You Do About It?

Written and reviewed by
Dr. Shantanu Kundgir 85% (96 ratings)
MBBS, D.Ortho, FCPS
Orthopedic Doctor, Mumbai  •  15 years experience
Shoulder Problem - What Can You Do About It?

The human body is a great marvel. You can’t imagine how each part works and the shoulder is one of the most vital parts of the body. You need your shoulders to move your arms, to write, raise hands, pick things up, do workouts, eat, wash, play golf and cricket, and what not, the list is exhausting. Such a joint overworks tirelessly and is prone to injuries and pain. Just move it consciously in different directions to check its range of motion. If it pains or the movement is restricted, you should get it checked by an experienced orthopedic.

What does your shoulder comprise of?

The shoulder is made up of a group of three bones, the clavicle, scapula, and humerus. These components are popularly known as the collarbone, shoulder blade, and upper arm bone, respectively. Four different muscles form a group and various tendons and ligaments in conjunction with the rotator cuff make room for a ball in the socket. The free movement of the ball is necessary to move the shoulder without any pain or discomfort.

When does shoulder pain appear?

When the muscles around the rotator cuff are weak, shoulder pain may occur. This is, in fact, one of the most common causes of shoulder pain and discomfort. You will feel pain or pinching sensation whenever you move your shoulders. It can be heightened at night and when you are sleeping on the affected shoulder, the pain can be even worse. This weakening of the muscles is called impingement. Over a period of time, this restricts the movement of the shoulder muscles and the shoulder ball. This is not a condition that develops overnight. It is because that you are overworking your shoulder. Aging is another factor that causes this condition. It can also result because of specific occupations, especially the ones that demand to lift heavy weights often.

How to relieve shoulder pain?

Treating shoulder pain at home is possible. But the pain that arises from playing certain sports such as tennis and specific activities such as cleaning the entire house in a day. When you know that you have stressed your shoulder, using ice and heat packs alternatively is a time-tested remedy to alleviate pain. Even rest can ease this sort of pain. You should also never raise the arm over the head when the shoulder is in pain. Bring down inflammation with ice. Never immobilize the arm with a sling. However, if the shoulder pain because of a suspected injury or unknown reasons, it is better to visit a doctor.

Is medication required?

You should rush to the doctor if you feel that the shoulder pain is slowly increasing and is persistent. Whenever you feel pain when raising your hand over the head, you need to be aware that this condition is called frozen shoulder and needs the intervention of a doctor. You cannot find solace with ice in this case.

  1. Preventive techniques: To prevent shoulder pain, you need to be a bit careful. When you are introduced to a new activity or exercise, do not overdo it. Begin slowly and increase its frequency gradually. For instance, do not play hours of tennis at the novice level. Your coach recommends warm up for the very reason, especially that every muscle of the joint should be prepared.
  2. Neck and shoulder pain: Shoulder pain does not only result because your shoulder is overworked. It can also result because of your neck. Sleep on a comfortable mattress and use pillows that are not too hard or too soft. Thin pillows are the right choice. Practice neck stretches too. Stress can also be the reason behind pain in different parts of the body and therefore, you should stay relaxed and calm in life whatever the situation may be.

To find out whether your posture is the cause of pain, analyze your habits at work and home. Do not jump to get things from a height. Specific actions such as carrying heavy weights and bowling can also cause pain and discomfort in the shoulder. Review all such activities and find the right way to tackle this. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

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