It begins with stiffness around the collar, aches from the neck’s nip, going down the torso. A sensation that often seems like the shoulders, extending to the arms, are frozen stiff. You cannot move your neck and do not have the proper reflex of the neck and the upper arm. From the lower neck to the upper portion of the back, a chilling pain is challenging to bear. If you have the above-mentioned symptoms, then you are indeed suffering from shoulder pain.
The shoulder is comprised of the collar bone, the upper arm’s bone, and the shoulder blade. Injury or stiffness to any of these areas can lead to shoulder pain. If one of these parts gets affected, the pain tends to spread in the other parts as well.
Initial treatment from home
If all or any of the above conditions persist for two to three days at a stretch, take hot and cold compress in the affected area. Apply pain-relieving balm gently, make sure not to rub in vigorously and disturb the muscles. Take oral pain killers like aspirin or ibuprofen for two to three days to quickly get rid of your pain.
When to visit the physician?
If despite four to five days of home treatment, the pain persists, you should know that something is severe and you need to visit a doctor immediately. However, suppose the problem arises from injury or fracture or dislocation of the joints or bones in any form. In that case, you have to visit an orthopaedic specialist immediately without taking any chances or even trying for home remedies. The faster the treatment, the better is the chance of healing.
Causes of shoulder pain
Here are some of the causes that may lead to your shoulder pain:
- You may develop inflammation around the tendon, that is, have tendonitis in your shoulder. Tendons are the connector tissues between bones and muscles. Tendonitis can be both mild and chronic or acute. You may require ongoing treatment to get healed, or if you’re lucky, the application of balms and ointments for a few days may help reduce the pain.
- Inflammation may also happen in the bursae, which means you may develop bursitis. Bursae are sap-filled little pockets that act as shock-absorbers in between the tissues and the bones. Inflammation or infection in the bursae leads to arthritis and can develop pain in areas like the shoulder.
- Tearing of the tendon may be another reason. There may be the tendon’s detachment or pulling it due to severe injury or pressure on the joints between bones and muscles. These can aggravate the pain in the arm and shoulder region.
- There may be impingement of the shoulder. This happens when the shoulder blade impinges on the tendons or the bursae during heavy weight lifting. This leads to severe pain.
- Dislocation of the shoulder due to injury is the cause of severe pain.
- If there is osteoarthritis, the patient may suffer from shoulder pain also.
How would your doctor diagnose the pain?
According to your case history, the doctor may recommend X-Rays, CT scans, MRIs, ultrasound, etc. to detect the root cause of your ailment.
What may be the treatment for Shoulder pain?
Here are the specifics of shoulder pain treatment:
- You may be advised to have a sling to rest your shoulder so that the shoulder movements are somewhat restricted and the area heals fast.
- There may be an application of an ice pack and hot and cold compress to relieve the pain.
- The doctor may give medicines or pain relievers to suppress the pain sensation.
- Traction may be given to ease the pain. Regular sittings completely cure the problem in no time.
- In case all these do not work, you may need to go through surgery of the shoulder or arthroplasty of the shoulder.
Alternative therapies available
If there is no tearing of the tendon or severe injury, physiotherapy and yoga will reduce the pain to a considerable extent. But, in case of wear and tear or fracture, one should not opt for these options and strictly go by the orthopaedic advice.
Tommy Williamson did his degree in psychology at the University of Edinburgh. He has an ongoing interest in mental health and well-being.
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