If you have shoulder pain, you will want to know some shoulder pain remedies. Here is a guide on how to relieve shoulder pain at home.
Are you wondering how to relieve shoulder pain from the comforts of home?
No wonder—shoulder pain is an all-too-common claim in the US. An astounding 67% of Americans will experience shoulder discomfort in their lifetime, whether acute, subacute, or chronic. With the shoulder being the most mobile joint in the body, it’s quite a nuisance when it becomes immobilized.
The reasons vary from person to person. Shoulder pain can stem from rotator cuff tendonitis, frozen shoulder, rotator cuff tears (common in athletes), and more. Perhaps you suffered an injury long ago and are still dealing with the lingering pain of that injury, finding no relief in your treatment.
In this guide, we show you how to soothe yourself—a skill that’s vitally important for everyone. We also explain a few options to try if at-home isn’t cutting it either.
Consider Heat Therapy for Dull Aches
If you have stiff muscles that just won’t relax, heat therapy could be an excellent option for you. This method is best for dull aches and pains that stem from tightness in the region.
The heat helps to soothe stiff joints, allowing them to release tension.
You can try heat therapy in several ways, depending on what you’ve got at home:
- Using an electric heating pad, starting on a low setting and going up as needed
- Microwaving a gel pack, then wrapping it in a towel to prevent skin damage
- Soaking a towel or compress in hot water and placing it on the inflamed area
You can try these heat therapy methods for about 15-20 minutes at a time and do so several times a day.
Give Cold Therapy a Go for Sharp Pain
Cold therapy is ideal for those suffering from sharper pain.
Cold therapy treatments can help to numb sharp pain, as well as reduce any inflammation. These temperature treatments work well in tandem with other self-care routines and/or those taking medication like anti-inflammatories but are still looking for extra relief.
You can also try cold therapy in several ways, such as:
- Freezing a gel pack and placing it directly on the troubled area
- Placing a bag of ice or frozen veggies right on the inflamed area
- Soaking a towel or compress in cold water, wringing it out, and placing it on the skin
Similar to heat therapy, cold therapy can be done for about 15-20 minutes at a time and can be done several times a day. If you notice any discomfort, place a protective cloth around your cold item to protect the skin—or, do the treatment for less time.
Try Gentle Shoulder Exercises and Movements
Whether you’re super active or more inactive, these gentle movements can contribute to more mobility and less stiffness in the shoulder area.
Some fantastic stretches for shoulder pain include:
- Child’s pose with arms back and palms up, allowing the shoulders to release
- Shoulder rolls (also known as rotations). While standing, bring shoulders up to ears, together, and then down the back
- Hold either side of a door frame and gently lean forward until you notice a soft tension, then hold for up to 30 seconds
- An upward-facing plank
Using a strap, tie, robe tie, belt, or towel, you can also practice mobility.
While in a relaxed, comfortable seat, grab a strap on either side, about shoulders-distance apart or farther. Bring the belt up overhead, and back if that’s within your ability. Then, move it back overhead and in front of you. Repeat up to 10 times.
You can do the same posture, with a strap, moving side to side.
Take More Recovery Days and Avoid Triggers
If you’re an active athlete that suffered an injury while working out, it may be time to implement more rest days.
Rather than pushing through the pain to continue a workout, give your shoulders (and any other ache-y parts) a rest. Add more recovery days to your routine, especially avoiding the area where the pain is. If your shoulder is hurting you, for instance, you can use that as an opportunity to work on the lower body.
You can also consider more low-impact exercises, such as swimming.
Similarly, avoid any triggers that inflame your shoulder. Common triggers of shoulder pain include daily activities such as:
- Carrying and/or lifting heavy objects
- High-impact exercises
- Overuse in general
- Holding a child
As well as overdoing your exercise, you could also be underdoing it.
If you’re relatively inactive, this could contribute to stiffness. Start with simple, gentle, and restorative exercises, such as listed above, and then move up from there.
Now You Know How to Relieve Shoulder Pain at Home: What Else?
These at-home shoulder remedies are fantastic methods for nursing your shoulder back to health. If you need more, however, you may want to consider the following.
First, a doctor can help to diagnose the exact reason for your pain. You may be treating shoulder pain at home in a way that’s dangerous for the joint. A doctor can steer you in the correct direction if this is the case.
Other options include stem cell therapy or PRP (platelet-rich plasma) therapy, which are non-surgical tactics. While these methods must be done out of the home, they rarely take longer than 30 minutes, and the recovery comes from your own body.
PRP therapy uses healing properties from your own platelets, which are separated after getting blood drawn. Stem cell therapy, also called regenerative medicine, uses healthy stem cells to promote the repair of damaged, injured, diseased, or dysfunctional tissue.
You Deserve Pain-Free Joints
Hopefully, using this guide, you’ve learned how to relieve shoulder pain at home, soothing yourself with hot and cold treatments, therapeutic exercises, and compression.
If those at-home shoulder remedies aren’t doing the trick, reach out to us for more insight into relieving your acute, subacute, or chronic shoulder pain.
Contact us today with any questions.