How to Treat Shoulder Pain EffectivelyThere are many different types of therapies for shoulder pain.  It depends on your symptoms and the cause of your shoulder pain.  Before treating your shoulder pain, you need to see your primary care physician, who can evaluate the cause of your pain.

Your primary care physician may send you to see an orthopedist (a doctor who specializes in bone and joint conditions).  You may need to see a rheumatologist if your doctor thinks your pain is from an autoimmune disease in the joints.

Conditions that you might have that would warrant treatment for shoulder pain include shoulder instability (if you are less than thirty of age), a rotator cuff tear, an acromioclavicular joint problem, or a frozen shoulder.

How to Treat Shoulder Pain – 5 Ways

The main treatment choices for should pain include surgery, arthrographic distention, physiotherapy, anti-inflammatory medications, pain relievers, ice packs, and avoiding those things that worsen your symptoms.  Your doctor will help you decide which treatment for shoulder pain that is best for you.

The various therapies for pain in the shoulder include the following:

1. Avoiding those activities that worsen your pain

Depending on what is the cause of your shoulder pain, the treatment may be just to avoid the activities that make your pain worse. The doctor may advise you to stay away from those activities that involve raising your arms above your head or vigorously stretching.

You still need to use your shoulder for regular activities as not moving it at all can cause your symptoms to be worse.  If your shoulder is unstable, you need to avoid those movements that might make your symptoms worse, such as bench pressing and overarm throwing.

If you have strained your acromioclavicular joint, your doctor may recommend that you to avoid those things that involve moving your arm across your body.

2. Ice packs

If you suffer from a shoulder injury, you can put an ice pack on your shoulder.  Ice should be applied to the shoulder for thirty minutes at a time.  You should place a cloth between the ice pack and your skin so you don’t freeze the skin.

3. Use painkillers

If your pain isn’t severe, taking painkillers, such as ibuprofen, naproxen sodium, aspirin, or acetaminophen may be enough to control the pain.  Make sure that you follow the instructions on the label.  You can also ask your doctor or pharmacist in order to determine the correct dosage.

If your shoulder pain is worse, your family practice doctor can prescribe a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication, such as diclofenac.  NSAIDs are particularly helpful because they help with the inflammation that might be present in your shoulder.

4. Take corticosteroids

Corticosteroids, in particular, can reduce inflammation in the shoulder joint. Oral corticosteroids include prednisolone or prednisone. They can reduce the swelling and pain caused by a shoulder injury or a frozen shoulder.

5. Get corticosteroid injections

If your pain is extremely severe, oral painkillers or oral corticosteroids will not be enough to control the pain. You can take corticosteroid injections instead.  With this treatment, your doctor will inject corticosteroids into the joint itself.  This will relieve the pain and inflammation in your shoulder joint.

Always consult your doctor before taking any kind of medication.

By: Christine Traxler