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How do I Treat Shoulder Ache?

Article Details
  • Written By: Felicia Dye
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 07 January 2020
  • Copyright Protected:
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    Conjecture Corporation
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The shoulder is composed of many parts including bone, tendons, and nerves. A shoulder ache can therefore be caused by a number of things including arthritis, a sprain, or muscle tension. The treatment most effective for you will generally depend on the cause of discomfort. The first thing you should do is to try to identify what type of pain you are having.

Your shoulder ache may not be caused by a serious problem. The cause could be something as simple as carrying a backpack or purse that is too heavy or sitting in an awkward position while working at the computer. Stress may even be the culprit.

If you believe the shoulder ache is caused by a minor problem, you should try soaking and stretching. You may be able to cure the pain by filling a bathtub with hot water and Epsom salts and resting in it. It is also likely to be helpful if you perform stretching exercises to expand the muscles.

You may find that cold is more effective than heat. If the hot bath does not work, try applying an ice pack. It is generally recommended you leave the ice pack on the aching area for 20 to 30 minutes. This should be repeated several times per day.

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A massage may also help to combat your shoulder ache. If you choose to have a professional massage, tell the masseuse your problems and have her concentrate on the shoulder area. You may find that the helping hands of someone you know can get the job done. There are many over-the-counter products you can have applied that are designed to penetrate the skin when rubbed to relieve such pains.

There are also a number of lifestyle changes that may help treat the problem. The shoulder ache may be a signal that you need to lighten your load. Remove unnecessary items from the bags you carry. Try to maintain good posture at all times, including when you are sleeping. Elevating the shoulders on a thick pillow or two can provide substantial relief.

If you have a shoulder ache, your first inclination may be to swallow a couple of painkillers. This may alleviate the pain but you must remember that this is not curing the problem. If it becomes obvious that your pain is not temporary, do not rely solely on medication.

If you have tried to remedy the problem at home but the pain persists or becomes unbearable, you probably need to seek professional medical care. Do not be discouraged if this does not yield immediate results. Sometimes the source of shoulder pain can be difficult for a doctor to identify. He may perform X-rays or an MRI and still be clueless as to the cause of your pain. You may have to try several treatments before you find the one that works.

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