Shoulder Pain: Causes, Symptoms and Treatments
What is Shoulder Pain?
Shoulder pain is a symptom of an underlying condition causing tension, stiffness or soreness in the shoulders. Virtually everyone can experience shoulder pain at any age, but it’s more common in athletes and adults over 50. Shoulder pain can restrict movements like raising your arms overhead or reaching for items.
When shoulder pain becomes so severe that it impacts daily activities, it can be difficult to maintain your quality of life. That’s why knowing the underlying causes of shoulder pain can help you treat the condition and improve your overall well-being.
What Causes Shoulder Pain?
Shoulder pain occurs when something is affecting the shoulder joint, muscles, ligaments or tendons. Shoulder pain can be acute or chronic. Acute shoulder pain comes on suddenly and is usually caused by an injury or trauma.
Chronic shoulder pain causes ongoing pain that’s difficult to live with. Sometimes it’s hard to uncover the underlying cause of chronic shoulder pain, and there may be multiple factors involved. Here are some common issues that cause shoulder pain:
- Repetitive motions from certain jobs or physical activities (tendonitis)
- Chronic stress that causes shoulder muscle tension
- Poor posture and back alignment
- Old or improperly healed injury
- Pinched nerve from the neck that radiates pain to the shoulders
Shoulder pain is often associated with sedentary lifestyles, which lead people to develop poor posture and hunched or rounded shoulders. Shoulder slouching causes the back and shoulder muscles to weaken and either shorten or lengthen to adapt to poor posture. When shoulder muscles become too weak, it creates an imbalance. This imbalance produces stiffness and soreness, especially during reaching and lifting motions.
What are the Symptoms of Shoulder Pain?
Shoulder pain symptoms vary depending on the cause. Shoulder pain is often a generalized symptom that includes neck and upper back pain. You may also feel pain that’s worse on one side. Shoulder pain symptoms include:
- Stiffness across the upper back and into shoulder blade(s)
- Tingling or numbness across the shoulders
- Inability to raise arms or perform reaching motions
- Cracking or grating sound during certain movements
General stiffness, soreness and an inability to move shoulders at a full range of motion are symptoms of what’s commonly called ‘frozen shoulder’. You can manage frozen shoulder with ongoing self-care and pain-relief techniques.
There are several self-care practices that can manage and relieve shoulder pain. By implementing wellness routines into your daily life and becoming more mindful of your posture, you can help correct shoulder muscle issues.
Here are some self-care solutions for shoulder pain relief:
Strength Training: If your shoulder pain is caused by muscle weakness or damage by repetitive movements, then it’s important to rehabilitate your shoulder. Improving muscle strength can alleviate pain by rebalancing and realigning your shoulders and back. Consult a physiotherapist for specific exercises that can strengthen your shoulders.
Essential Oils: Essential oils come from therapeutic plants that have natural pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory benefits. Peppermint extract has natural analgesic properties, which help to alleviate chronic pain. Lavender oil is a natural anti-inflammatory, which can reduce swelling caused by acute injuries or arthritis. Daily topical application of these essential oils can help alleviate pain and tension in the shoulders.
Relax The Back Products for Shoulder Pain Relief
At Relax The Back, we provide ergonomic solutions that can improve your physical health and alleviate shoulder pain. Some of our ergonomic products for shoulder pain relief include:
- Far Infrared Shoulder Wrap: A portable heat therapy device that fits comfortably over your affected shoulder to offer pain relief. The wrap’s heating elements help to target shoulder pain by warming the affected muscles and decreasing swelling.
Far Infrared Shoulder Wrap benefits include:
- Portable and convenient heating pad
- 4 adjustable heat levels for comfort control
- Delivers deep heat into muscles and joints
- Safely improves blood circulation and alleviates inflammation
- BetterBack® Seat Support: This ergonomic seating solution helps to improve posture to prevent hunching and correct rounded shoulders. Using the BetterBack® Seat Support helps maintain balanced shoulder positioning to prevent pain and heal misalignment while sitting.
BetterBack Seat Support benefits include:
- Adjustable and portable to fit any chair
- Supports a natural, relaxed sitting position
- Relieves strain on low back and prevents tilting forward
- Alleviates pressure on shoulder muscles
- Includes a removable and adjustable lumbar pad for additional low back support
Ergonomic products and proven wellness therapies can help you correct your posture and alleviate shoulder pain. With these solutions, you can develop a greater sense of well-being and improved quality of life without chronic pain.
- Lawrence, J. “Poor Posture Can Cause Shoulder Pain” 2017. Retrieved from Mayo Clinic Health System. Accessed on September 18, 2017.
- Payne, J. “Shoulder Pain” 2015. Retrieved from Patient Platform, Limited. Accessed on September 18, 2017.
- Dr. Axe. “11 Natural Treatments for Rotator Cuff Pain + Best Rotator Cuff Exercises” 2017. Retrieved from DrAxe.com. Accessed on September 18, 2017.
- Malanga, G.A. “Rotator Cuff Injury Treatment and Management” 2017, Retrieved from Medscape. Accessed on September 18, 2017.