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Shoulder pain

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Shoulder pain is pain that is felt in and around the shoulder and can be caused by the joint, muscles, ligaments or tendons. Pain becomes worse when performing activities or moving the arms or shoulder. Conditions and diseases that affect the structures of the chest or abdomen such as diseases of the heart and gallbladder can also cause shoulder pain.

Shoulder pain that is caused by other structures is called “referred pain” which becomes severe with movement of the shoulder. The common conditions that causes shoulder pain happens such as rotator cuff tendinitis or bursitis occurs when the rotator cuff is trapped under the bony part of the shoulder while the tendons are inflamed or damaged

Causes

  • Development of bone spurs in the shoulder area
  • Arthritis of the joint of the shoulder
  • Dislocation and separation of the shoulder
  • Bursitis is inflammation of the bursa which is a sac filled with fluid that helps protect the joint as well as promoting smooth movement.
    Shoulder pain

    Overuse or injury on the surrounding tendons such as the bicep muscles of the arms

  • Overuse or injury on the surrounding tendons such as the bicep muscles of the arms
  • Tears on the rotator cuff tendons
  • Frozen shoulder occurs once the tendons, muscles and ligaments within the shoulder become stiff along with difficulty and pain during movements.

Symptoms

  • Swelling of the affected area
  • Difficulty in moving the shoulder
  • Tenderness around the joint

Treatment

  • Apply a cold compress or ice pack on the affected shoulder. Cold temperature helps in numbing the area and lessens the pain and inflammation. Place ice cubes in a plastic bag and wrap in a towel and then place it on the affected shoulder for at least 10-15 minutes several times every day for a few days. Another option is to soak a towel in cold water and apply it on the affected shoulder. Avoid placing ice directly on the skin to prevent frostbite.
  • Apply a warm compress on the affected shoulder to help minimize the inflammation, swelling and pain. It is recommended to apply the warm compress during the first 48 hours after the injury. The heat helps relieve the pain of the stressed muscles. Fill a hot water bag with hot water and then apply it on the affected shoulder for at least 10-15 minutes while lying down several times every day until pain is reduced. Another way is to take a shower and run warm water on the shoulder for at least 5-10 minutes twice every day.
  • Compress the affected shoulder using an elastic bandage or a warm wrap for a few days until swelling and pain is minimized.
  • Elevate the shoulder using a couple pillows to help promote fast healing of the area.
  • Take an Epsom salt bath to lessen the shoulder pain, increase circulation of blood in the area and relax the stressed shoulder muscles. Fill a bathtub with warm water and add 2 cups of Epsom salt and then mix them well. Soak the body in this solution and concentrate on the shoulder at least 20-25 minutes for 3 times every week.

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