What You Should Know About Shoulder Pain
Did you know that your shoulder is one of the most flexible joints in your body? However, as such, it is prone to injury. In fact, there is a long list of potential conditions that may be causing your shoulder pain - ranging from a slight strain to a rotator cuff injury. The good news is that when you're dealing with common stress and strain in your shoulders, there's an easy and effective solution to help you overcome it. Heat therapy, nature's original pain reliever, can help ease discomfort in your shoulders and more.
Read on to discover what's helpful to know about shoulder pain:
One potential cause of discomfort in the shoulder is the wear and tear of tissue that tends to happen with age. As you get older, those shoulder tissues break down and don't support your joints the way they once could. Sometimes shoulder pain is the result of an injury in the another part of the body nearby, such as the neck or back. As the shoulder tries to compensate for those areas, it may cause added stress. Overuse or bending or moving your shoulder the wrong way may also result in discomfort. Pinching a nerve or dislocating the shoulder are other possible causes of pain.
While aches may be more common among those who engage in physical labor each day, tight and stiff shoulders may be likely among those who sit or stand at a computer desk each day. Without that regular movement or range of motion, the muscles tend to tighten up.
If your shoulder pain is the result of a sudden injury such as a pull or strain from sports, lifting or other physical activity, it's best to ice the area right away until the swelling goes down. One convenient solution that offers both hot and cold therapy is the Sunbeam® Body-Shaped Heating Pad with Hot & Cold Pack. Designed to conform to the area of your body that needs heating or cooling therapy, this cold pack is great for helping to reduce swelling and improve blood circulation after an injury. The removable hot/cold gel pack even enables on-the-go therapy.
Compressing the area if there is an injury can also help to reduce swelling. Epsom salt baths are another remedy you can do right at home to help reduce shoulder strain or discomfort. Simply add the salts to a hot bath and then soak for at least 20 minutes. The salts are meant to relax muscles, which can help to reduce tension. They also help to increase blood flow. Other remedies for shoulder discomfort include staying hydrated, massaging the area and getting rest.
Another great option for relieving stress, tension and discomfort in your shoulder is to apply the healing qualities of heat to the area. This can be done with hot towels, steam baths or heating pads. Designed specifically for the neck and shoulders, the Sunbeam® Massaging XL Renue® Heat Therapy Neck & Shoulder Wrap provides not just heat therapy, but massaging techniques as well so that your shoulders get the treatment they deserve.
The innovative design and weighted beads in the trim of this heating pad help keep contact with your shoulders so that the therapeutic heat and vibrating disc massaging feature can deeply penetrate the areas that need it most. The soft cover provides a gentle touch and you have the flexibility to choose from a number of different settings until you find that one that's best for your shoulders. Sit back and let the heat therapy work its magic.
One of the best ways to avoid shoulder pain in the first place is to practice prevention methods. This means ensuring that you don't overextend or overwork the joints and muscles in your shoulders. Similar to the rest of your body, allowing proper rest for your shoulders, particularly after an arm workout or stressful day, is important. Working to improve flexibility and strength in the shoulder area can also help to reduce the risk of injury. Flexibility may be improved through practices such as yoga and stretching. Here are some simple stretches to practice:
- The Chair Twist: This move can be easily done when sitting in your desk chair at the office or in your kitchen chair right at home. Start by sitting up straight with your knees together. Place your left hand on the outside of your right thigh while slowly twisting your body to the right. You should keep your eyes in the direction you're turning and push gently against your thigh. Hold for several seconds before switching sides.
- Cross Stretch: The arm-across-chest stretch is one of the most common ones seen in the gym or on the running trails. With your right arm by your waist reach your left hand behind the right elbow to pull your arm across your chest. You should feel a good stretch without it hurting. Hold for about 1 minute before switching arms.
- Head Tilt: Stretching the neck is good for your shoulders too. Tuck your right cheek to your chest with your head down and roll your head slowly down and around. Do this in both directions.
- Shoulder Rolls: This is another stretch that can easily be done at your desk. Sit up straight and start by rolling your shoulders forward, then up and back in a motion that feels circular. Repeat this several times.