Shoulder injuries and how to care for them

Shoulder injuries result in excessive wear and tear of the muscles. A sudden pull can even cause dislocation. Usually, the injuries start out as soreness or a sharp and sudden pain when you are trying to pick up something or reach for something upwards. There are minor shoulder injuries like soreness and pain in the muscles, but leaving them untreated can develop into something serious.

Age also plays a role in causing shoulder problems due to arthritis or osteoporosis. This is when bones lose their density and start becoming weaker over the years. People who overuse their shoulders such as manual laborers, factory workers, or athletes also tend to get more shoulder injuries. Shoulder problems can also arise from having a poor posture while sitting over a prolonged period.

The shoulder consists of 3 different bones: the collarbone, the upper arm bone, and the shoulder blades. These bones have various muscles and ligaments connected to them - so when either of these areas are affected, the pain will be severe.

 

Symptoms of a shoulder injury

 

Here are some ways to care for your shoulder injury: 

  1. Get a cold shoulder (literally)

One of the most effective ways to relieve the soreness of the muscles in your shoulder is to ice it. Get an ice bag or make one at home by getting a medium sized Ziploc bag and filling it with ice cubes and place it on the area where you feel any pain or tingling. Icing for 30 minutes twice a day will decrease the soreness and pain.

  1. Release some stress

Often, sudden pain arises from the pent up stress inside a person and it manifests in the form of sharp pain. Over time, it becomes chronic pain and then it becomes hard to get rid of. When a person is stressed, the neck becomes stiff and it can lead to shoulder pain.  Relax and do some breathing exercises to loosen up the tensed muscles around your neck and shoulders.

  1. Warm it up

Using a hot water bottle or heating pad for your shoulder pain can help relax the muscles and increase blood flow to the area. This decreases the pain for a while and makes it easier to function.

  1. Slow exercises and movements

Slow and gentle exercises such as neck roll and shoulder rotations can stretch out the muscles and help the pain. This will prevent any stiffness from forming as well.

  1. Sling/pillow

Keeping your arm in a sling or keeping a hard pillow next to it while you sleep. This is a good way to heal up the ligaments.

 

If the pain is severe, it’s essential to see your medical provider and get a detailed assessment. Dr. Parikh is a primary care physician practicing in the Irving/Coppell area. More information can be found at www.healthonemedicine.com.

Author
Health One Family Medicine

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