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Non-Surgical Shoulder Pain Relief Tips 

Non-Surgical Shoulder Pain Relief Tips 

June 28, 2024
By Next Level Physical Therapy

Having pain in your shoulder can be caused by multiple things. Ensuring that surgery isn’t necessary and that your rotator isn’t damaged should be your first step. Begin looking for a physical therapist to help regain mobility and strength in your shoulder. Another option is stretching more to ensure you are loosening the muscles up enough to regain mobility, paired with icing your shoulder two to three times for up to 20 minutes each. 

Understanding Shoulder Pain: Common Causes and Symptoms 

The shoulder joint is an important part of your body for day-to-day use that is made up of 4 muscles. The muscles are small but are imperative to the movement and function of the shoulder. 

Some common injuries associated with shoulders are torn rotator cuffs which will cause pain and weakness when raising, lowering, or rotating your arm There may be a clicking sound as well. 

Broken bones and dislocations can also cause pain within the shoulder. 

Another cause of pain in the shoulder could simply be misuse. Pain will typically arise when moving your shoulder. A cartilage tear or “SLAP” tear is another common overuse injury. This is when you tear the rubbery padding going around the rim of your shoulder and you will typically feel pain when raising your arm over your head while also feeling weakness within the shoulder. 

These can be treated through physical therapy for shoulder pain where they will likely recommend strengthening shoulder exercises.  

Common Causes of Shoulder Pain 

  • Torn rotator cuff
  • Bursitis
  • Torn cartilage
  • Frozen shoulders 
  • Bone spurs 
  • Poor shoulder posture
  • Arthritis 

Common Symptoms of Shoulder Pain 

Common symptoms of shoulder pain include stiffness and/or weakness of the joints. These symptoms can have a larger effect on your life due to being uncomfortable throughout the day or even when trying to sleep. Shoulder pain left untreated can cause larger issues that may lead to surgery. 

Effective Non-Surgical Treatment Options for Shoulder Pain 

Once surgery is ruled out, seek assistance from a physical therapist who may provide you with stretches and shoulder strengthening exercises. By pairing stretches and strengthening exercises, even icing your shoulder 2 to 3 times a day, for up to 20 minutes may help reduce inflammation. Anti-inflammatory medications may be prescribed depending on the type of injury you have sustained.   

Exercises to Help Manage Shoulder Pain and Home 

Simple stretches and strengthening exercises are a great way to manage shoulder pain at home. Simple stretches can be anything from pendulum swings to doorway stretches. Strengthening exercise includes light cardio, such as arm circles or jumping jacks. It’s important to go slow and not overexert the inflamed joints. Rest days are an important part of the healing journey. Be sure to start slow, focus on controlling your movements, and always listen to your body.

When to Consider Surgery for Shoulder Pain 

Shoulder surgery is usually the last option, but in some circumstances it could be the best option. If you have been doing shoulder strengthening exercises, stretching and icing appropriately, and the issue hasn’t improved in six months, you may want to talk to your medical provider about surgery. 

Next Level Physical Therapy: Helping You Recover from Shoulder Pain 

Here at Next Level Physical Therapy, we are dedicated to helping our patients regain shoulder mobility and live a pain-free life. Our team of physical therapists and personal trainers have been helping people recover from serious injuries for decades. Contact our team to “Level Up” and begin your road to recovery!

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