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Shoulder Pain Relief

The area of your shoulders is comprised of muscles, bones, nerves, ligaments and other supporting structures. Many conditions can be the cause of shoulder pain and treatment will depend on the cause of the pain as well as the severity of it.

If you have mild shoulder pain, some home-based care is appropriate. Simple strains and bruises typically heal themselves and can be treated at home as well.

How can you treat shoulder pain at home?

Rest. Using the injured shoulder can delay healing, so try to use your injured shoulder as little as possible for a couple of days and then begin exercising slowly.

Ice. Apply ice to the shoulder area in 15 minute intervals, several times a day to reduce inflammation. Do not apply ice directly to the skin to avoid burning it, wrap the ice in a towel instead.

Heat. if your muscles are stiff and stressed, apply heat to the area to relax the muscles. Heat should not be applied after an injury.

Elevate. Elevating the injured shoulder above your heart helps bring down the swelling. Prop yourself up using pillows.

Medication. painkillers like Acetaminophen or Ibuprofen can help bring the swelling down and reduce pain.

If you are experiencing persistent shoulder pain, then medical treatment may be necessary. If your pain is severe or worsening, if you experience weakness, numbness, color changes in your skin or deformity, you should go to the hospital immediately.

What are some medical treatments for shoulder pain?

Medication. Painkillers and antiinflammatories  may be provided by your doctor to relieve pain during the first few days. Milder medicines, like Acetaminophen or Ibuprofen may take several days to help bring down the pain, so stronger narcotic-containing medicines may be prescribed.

Immobilization. Continuing to move your shoulder when it is injured may delay healing or cause worse damage to the area, so your doctor may immobilize your shoulder using a cast or sling.

Limit use. For your shoulder to heal faster, limited use is often recommended.

Hospitalization. If the injury is severe, a hospital stay may be necessary for further observation and evaluation by an orthopedist. In some cases, surgery may be required.