Coping with shoulder pain
Coping with shoulder pain can be very difficult so I have put this blog together to help with management. As a chiropractor I commonly see people for their shoulder pain. Below is advice I give regularly to patients presenting with shoulder pain in our chiropractic clinic in Eastbourne. It is most often about managing inflammation. Inflammation is your body’s response to injury but can cause a greater deal of pain. So, managing inflammation will make things more comfortable in the short term and help things in the long term. There are a few things that you can do to reduce inflammation and I will be covering a few different bits of advice that I give to people when I see them in our chiropractic clinic in Eastbourne.
Anti-inflammatory advice for shoulder pain
One of the first things I advise my chiropractic patients to help to reduce inflammation is using ice. Ice is really useful to help with shoulder pain. The main reason for this is it helps to reduce the inflammation around the tendons of the shoulder. With icing the main thing is that you don’t want to put it directly on the skin, as we don’t want to cause an ice burn, and we want to leave it on for around 10 minutes. An ice pack is the best thing to use in this situation but something like a bag of peas can also be used. Alternative cooling or freezing items such as sprays or gels do not have the same effect as an ice pack and therefore are not as effective. With icing the main thing is little and often, we don’t want to be putting the ice pack on for longer than 20 minutes and we want to make sure that we have a 20-minute rest in between. This is a very useful bit of advice that I give to all my chiropractic patients with acute shoulder pain who visit me at Lushington Chiropractic clinic in Eastbourne.
Actions that can aggravate shoulder pain
The other things to watch out for are aggravating activities as these increase the inflammation. It is important to get to know your own shoulder pain and understand what aggravates your shoulder pain as not all shoulder pain is the same. I’m now going to cover some common activities that people do that aggravate their shoulder without meaning to.
One of the things that I commonly see that people really struggle with when they have a bad shoulder is putting a jacket or coat on. Without realising it we all have a way that we put our jacket or coat on, one arm goes in first followed by the other and this doesn’t change even when we have a shoulder issue but there are things that we can do that can make a significant difference. All you must do in this situation is put your bad arm in first followed by the good arm. Obviously, this isn’t possible if you have two bad shoulders, but most people have only one at a time. Putting your bad arm in first means that you won’t have to reach around behind your back which is a common way that people hurt their shoulders. This is a key bit of advice that I give to people with shoulder issues.
Another problem that can aggravate shoulder pain can be doing the ironing. This is purely because of the way that we move our arm during the motion of ironing. In this situation the best thing to do is either get someone else to do the ironing or try and use the other arm instead. What you can also do is instead of bringing the arm from side to side you can try front to back with the ironing board to your side, this is then less likely to aggravate your shoulder also, depending on the problem you have.
Driving can also be an issue for shoulder pain. The reason for this is again the way that we use arms and hands around the steering wheel. We were all taught when we learnt how to drive to feed the steering wheel into the other hand and not let the hand go past the midpoint of the steering wheel. Over time most of us get out of this habit and end up with our hand crossing over to the other side, this is a position that reduces the space within the shoulder meaning it is more likely to catch. So, the best thing to do is to go back to the way we learnt it and feed the steering wheel into the other hand making sure that your hand does not go past the midline, this helps to prevent reducing that space within the shoulder and therefore aggravating the shoulder pain.
Another time we adopt this similar position is when we are pouring the kettle. To help to reduce this you can either use the opposite hand or another thing that helps to reduce shoulder pain is only putting the amount of water you need in the kettle. Often what we do is we boil a whole kettle full of water, which is quite heavy, when we’re only making one or two cups of tea. So, reducing this takes the pressure off the arm.
Finally, one of the biggest things is reaching up high or outwards. The best thing to do in this situation is to try to bring the item closer to you. The most common place that you can do this is in the kitchen. If there are things that you often use that are up on the top shelf, then move them lower down so that you don’t have to reach up. This can prevent the shoulder catching and therefore help to reduce inflammation.
What can you do now to help your shoulder pain
So just being aware of what you’re doing makes a big difference to shoulder pain. Reducing shoulder pain using some of the tips above can be really helpful. Not all the tips above will be perfect for everyone with shoulder pain as many different problems can cause similar symptoms. The best thing to do is to see a healthcare professional who can diagnose the source of your shoulder pain. If you have any questions please feel free to give us a call at our chiropractic clinic in Eastbourne on 01323 722499, if you would also like to book a consultation to get your shoulder pain diagnosed by one of our chiropractors in Eastbourne then please give us a call. Feel free to check out our website here
Chiropractic treatment can help with rotator cuff injuries, disease or disorders; shoulder complaints (dysfunction, disorders and pain); and soft tissue disorders of the shoulder.
Want to find out more about Shoulder pain and the rotator cuff?
If you’ve enjoyed this blog and want to find out more about shoulder pain and the rotator cuff, then please check out one of our other blogs on the shoulder joint below.
Yours in health,
Mykel Mason your Eastbourne chiropractor
By James Revell
Call now 01323 722499