Chronic shoulder pain and what you can do about it

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I’ve recently suffered from shoulder pain and it was so uncomfortable and extremely painful. It felt like every movement I did triggered the pain; I could not get comfy or free of the pain at all. I was encouraged to do some stretches and exercise which really helped.

This is a partnered post but I am sure you will find it helpful and useful. There are some great tips to help manage shoulder pain, but also about how exercise is essential for anyone with chronic pain.

Blog post Pinterest image notebooks and glasses logo shoulder pain

The shoulder is often thought of as the most beautiful of all our joints. It’s easily the most flexible of all and has an incredible construction. The large muscles that surround it are backed up by thick shoulder blades and plenty of tendons. Without our shoulder joint, we couldn’t move our arms, lift things or be able to stretch our arm muscles. So when this part of your body is suffering from a trauma injury or perhaps chronic pain, normal life can become quite distressing.

The biggest issue is that its chronic pain in your upper body, which is used more often than our lower bodies. Thus, small tasks like making a cup of coffee, brushing your teeth or typing on a keyboard become very difficult. This also impacts your mental health, which is why it’s important to deal with your chronic pain right away.

What is the cause?

There are five main possible causes for your chronic pain, but in order to select the best treatment, you need to identify what they may be. 

  • Is it a shoulder fracture? Even a hairline fracture can be incredibly painful. Blunt force trauma is a very noticeable way of being injured, so if you were involved in an event that was violent, this could be your main cause of pain. Was it due to a collision in a sporting event? Were you involved in a car crash?
  • Arthritis is a common cause of chronic shoulder pain and usually occurs in old age. However, if you were a professional athlete in your day, you may have early onset arthritis even if you didn’t have a shoulder injury. The wear and tear of playing sports often causes arthritis to speed up.
  • Rotator cuff tears are sometimes subtle and sometimes they are very explicit. The only way to fully know whether you have a tear or a bruise is to get it x-rayed. Going to a physical therapy center or to a hospital is where you’ll find the best treatment.

Once you know the cause, you can then select the best treatment. Read up on all the different types of injuries and pain indications to narrow down the cause. 

Train your way out of it

Sometimes the best way to treat a sore shoulder is to put it through its paces. Exercise is highly recommended for chronic pain sufferers because you’re making your muscles and joints stronger at the point of pain. Your joints may become inflamed because you have little muscular support. Your muscles might be tender because your tendons are too weak to support your joints. Consider hiring one of the best personal trainers in your area, who devise you a unique workout plan, while taking into account your chronic pain. A personal trainer is someone who will get to know you, know more about your personality and therefore, know when to push you and get the most out of your workouts. 

They’re also a great boost to your confidence as working out on your own as a novice is quite daunting. Here you have someone guiding you and keeping you within your body’s limits so you don’t hurt yourself. Training your way out of chronic pain is a real solution you should take seriously.

Getting into a routine

When you wake up, the first thing you should do is perform stretches. This will loosen the muscles and allow new blood to reach the area of pain. If you’ve been given certain exercises to do by the doctor, they should be done after you have done your basic stretches. Add more protein into your diet to help repair the damage but also eat more green leafy vegetables for more antioxidants. This will lower the inflammation in the area. 

As part of your weekly or daily routine, give yourself a massage where the chronic pain is. Learn how to perform self-massage by watching tutorials on YouTube. You should also ask your doctor for self-massage tips and advice. However, if your chronic pain is in an unreachable place, going to a certified massage therapist will greatly improve your wellbeing. Deep tissue massage isn’t for everyone, but it’s one of the best techniques that can be used to breakdown scar tissue and loosen your joints and muscles. 

Shoulder pain is debilitating when it gets quite severe. It’s such an important ,if not the most important, joint in your torso. Without a properly moving and functioning shoulder, basic things like brushing your hair and teeth become a real issue. You should work out more to strengthen your body which can often be a cheaper way for treatment. 

Your thoughts

Do you suffer with shoulder pain?

What stretches or exercises do you do to help?

How do you manage doing exercise with your chronic pain?

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