Shoulder pain is a common condition that can be caused by a variety of factors such as overuse, injury, or degeneration of the joint. It can affect people of all ages and significantly affect their daily activities. Shoulder pain can be mild or severe and can last for a short time or be chronic. If you experience shoulder pain, seeking medical attention immediately to determine the underlying cause and receive appropriate treatment is essential.
Shoulder pain can be treated with medications, physical therapy, or surgery, depending on the cause and severity of the pain. However, several home remedies can help alleviate shoulder pain and improve your quality of life. Home remedies are easy to use because most can be done using things from your home.
If you are experiencing shoulder pain, here are some of the best home remedies:
1. Over-The-Counter NSAIDs
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are a group of medications used to reduce pain and inflammation. They are available over the counter (OTC) and can help alleviate shoulder pain caused by bursitis, tendonitis, or arthritis. Common OTC NSAIDs include ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), naproxen (Aleve), and aspirin. These medications work by blocking the production of prostaglandins, which are chemicals responsible for causing pain and inflammation.
Following the recommended dosage and duration of NSAIDs is essential because prolonged use can cause side effects such as stomach ulcers, kidney damage, and an increased risk of heart attack or stroke. People with a history of stomach ulcers, kidney disease, heart disease, or bleeding disorders should not take NSAIDs without a doctor’s advice.
2. Heat Application
Applying heat to the affected shoulder can help alleviate pain and stiffness caused by bursitis, tendonitis, or arthritis. Heat therapy increases blood flow to the affected area, promoting healing and reducing inflammation. There are several ways to apply heat to the shoulder, including:
- Hot water bottle or heating pad: Place a hot water bottle or heating pad on the affected shoulder for 15-20 minutes, several times daily.
- Warm towel: Soak a towel in warm water and wring it out, then apply it to the affected shoulder for 15-20 minutes at a time, several times a day.
- Warm shower or bath: Take a warm shower or bath to help relax the muscles and reduce pain and stiffness in the shoulder.
3. Cold Application
If the heat doesn’t work, applying cold to the affected shoulder can help reduce pain and inflammation caused by bursitis, tendonitis, or arthritis. Cold therapy constricts blood vessels in the affected area, reducing swelling and numbing pain. There are several ways to apply cold to the shoulder, including:
- Ice pack: Apply an ice pack to the affected shoulder for 15-20 minutes several times daily. Use a towel or cloth as a barrier to prevent skin damage from the cold.
- Cold towel: Soak a towel in cold water and wring it out, then apply it to the affected shoulder for 15-20 minutes at a time, several times a day.
- Cold shower or bath: Take a cold shower or bath to help reduce pain and inflammation in the shoulder.
4. Analgesic Creams
Topical analgesic creams can be applied directly to the affected shoulder to relieve pain. These creams contain menthol, camphor, or capsaicin ingredients that help numb the area or reduce inflammation. Follow the instructions on the packaging for application and frequency. It is important to wash your hands after applying the cream to avoid accidentally getting it in your eyes or mouth.
5. Massages or Massage Guns
Massages can help reduce pain and muscle tension in the shoulder. A professional massage therapist can apply pressure to the affected area to help increase blood flow and loosen tight muscles. Alternatively, a massage gun can target specific shoulder areas for a deep tissue massage.
Stretching exercises can help alleviate shoulder pain by improving flexibility and range of motion. Some recommended shoulder stretches include shoulder circles, cross-body stretches, and wall stretches. You must warm up before stretching and to avoid any stretches that cause pain or discomfort.
Shoulder pain can greatly affect your range of motion, so you must act fast to alleviate the condition. Many methods of doing this is available, so it’s only a matter of finding the one that works best for you. This way, your shoulder will function properly again.
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