We hardly think about our shoulders until there is sudden, excruciating pain. Sore shoulders result from complications in the cartilage, muscles, nerves, ligaments or tendons, leading to swelling and redness, according to an article on Healthline. It can prevent us from performing even the simplest tasks, leaving us feeling frustrated and in pain.
While heat, anti-inflammatory medicines and salt bathing can help, one of the most effective remedies is wearing a shoulder support brace. Shoulder braces ensure increased blood circulation, while offering optimal support to mitigate joint pain, according to the experts at Aidfull. Besides investing in a sturdy shoulder brace, here are a few effective home remedies for your aching shoulder.
1. Chest Expansion Exercise
While aging can elevate the chances of joint pain, issues in the neck or arthritis can also lead to the shoulder discomfort, according to an article on Harvard Health Publishing. This can immobilize you completely, since most of our activities involve the shoulder muscles. Chest expansion exercises take only about 15 minutes but lead to noticeable results. For this, stand straight and bring both hands to the lower back and clap the palms behind you. Wear a shoulder tendonitis brace and keep pushing your shoulder blades towards each other. You need to hold this position for six to seven seconds and repeat it daily.
2. Consider Icing Your Shoulders
If you have been suffering from persistent pain for more than 24 hours, consider applying an ice pack. It minimizes blood flow to the shoulder, which in turn reduces swelling. Using coolant sprays, frozen packs and ice baths can also lower nerve activity, which soothes aching body parts. However, in the case of stiff shoulders, you need to avoid using ice.
3. Massage the Sore Muscles
Trigger points located under the ridge of the shoulder blades are the most satisfying places to apply pressure to alleviate stubborn aches, according to an article on PainScience. Help yourself or ask a friend to massage the area in a circular motion, to reduce spasms and relax the tendons. While a massage stimulates the nerve fibers and prevents pain signals to and from the brain, a deep tissue massage also helps in reducing tension in the muscles, which could occur due to the pain or inflammation.
4. Neck Release Exercise
This can loosen the neck and shoulder muscles in a gentle way. Relax your body and stand straight. Now, lower your head towards your chest to feel an immediate pull on your back. Continue pulling your neck on either side to stretch both shoulders. Repeat at least 8 to 10 times daily to see a noticeable change.
5. Adjust Your Sleeping Position
Rotator cuff injuries, bursitis and tendonitis can worsen with improper sleeping positions. The shoulders will then feel stiff in the morning, making it a difficult to start your day. Try to sleep on your stomach or on your back, rather than your side. This will take off the pressure off the shoulders and keep you from feeling numb. Place a cushion strategically to avoid rolling onto the sore shoulder.
Besides these techniques, consider using a shoulder immobilizer & neck brace, along with muscle relaxants. The lifetime prevalence of shoulder discomfort could be as high as 70%. So, keep performing simple stretches and flex your muscles to avoid permanent damage.