Shoulder pain, stiffness and resulting reduced range of motion can be extremely annoying, if not downright painful. Some different types of injuries include basic stiffness, frozen shoulder and rotator cuff injuries.
There are two main reasons for shoulder pain. The first is that various parts of the shoulder wear down with aging due to a lack of blood supply. So, if you are even experiencing general stiffness, starting to do regular stretching and movement exercises in the shoulder area now will help increase blood flow and prevent or reduces pain and stiffness later in life.
The second reason people have shoulder pain is due to injury or strain. This happens often if one is trying to lift objects that are too heavy or if they are in the wrong position while lifting.
There are different types of common injuries and you should get diagnosed by a medical professional before attempting any intense movement or stretching. Once you’ve been diagnosed by a medical professional to determine the type of injury, you can start looking into different types of home remedies to help.
Massage is a wonderful tool to help improve blood flow, reduce scar tissue and reduce pain to any area of the body. Both a Swedish and therapeutic massage helps to reduce cortisol levels and improve mobility, leading to greater ease both mentally and physically. You can get someone to help you with basic stiffness at home, using olive or coconut oil as a lubricant.
Gentle stretching is a useful way of easing pain at home. You can start with simple exercises just lying on your back and placing your hands above your head, rotating each slowly down towards your side, then back up above your head. Other effective poses or stretches include Puppy Pose (similar to Child’s Pose but with more of a stretch in the back and shoulders) and an arm across the chest stretch.
Using hot or cold compression on the shoulder a few times a day will be helpful in reducing thepain. Simply use a hot water bottle or fill a bag with ice and place a towel around it, then apply to the area. If you are experiencing swelling from an immediate injury, refer to the R.I.C.E.R method noted below and do not apply heat to the inflamed area. Do not apply ice directly to the skin. You can repeat this several times a day.
- Rotation exercises
If you already know what your pain is about and you are looking to strengthen your shoulders, consider trying out gentle exercises to regain strength in the area. You can try a reverse fly, rows with a resistance band, external rotation lifts while lying on your side, or just a simple doorway stretch. Before trying any exercise, you need to make sure that the type of injury you have is responsive to exercise, as some types of shoulder injuries need to be treated with care and will need minimal movement to heal.
For immediate attention to rotator cuff injuries, try the R.I.C.E.R. (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation and Referral) method as soon as possible. It’s important that you take these steps within the first 72 hours. It’s important to leave your shoulder at rest and ice it every 20 minutes or so. If this is the type of injury you are experiencing, do not apply heat of any kind.
- Epsom Salt Baths
Epsom salt is a great way to ease over all pain and discomfort from an injury or strain. Simply pour two cups of the salt into a lukewarm bath and soak the affected area in water for at least 20 minutes. Epsom salt baths are wonderful ways of relaxing and detoxing your whole body, and they can also improve nerve function.
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