From the blog of Dr. Barbara Bergin
A lot of folks have been waiting on this one. There is a bunch of shoulder pain out there, and with just a few modifications, much of it can be alleviated…but not all!
- And again, there was R.I.C.E., all of which works pretty well for shoulders too, except that it’s a little hard to elevate your shoulder, since it’s already on top.
- Go on-line and get one of those strap-on ice packs. They’re particularly useful for the shoulder, because it’s hard to prop an ice pack there and make it stay. I also linked a cheap one, which looks like it would work for other parts of the body too.
- If you fell down, and something crunched, came out of place, is causing numbness, or is so painful that you just cannot tolerate it, you will have to go to the ER. Everyone else…pay attention!
- Shoulders respond well to modifying activities which are painful! I kid you not. Frankly, everything responds well to this. We’re just reluctant to do it. So, the REST part of R.I.C.E., is very effective. For shoulders it means backing off on weight lifting, and repetitive activities, particularly overhead activities. Lower things in your kitchen, closet, garage. And if it’s something that can stay in that new, lower place indefinitely…leave it there, especially if you’re over 40.
- If you’re over 50, and certainly 60, there’s a good chance that you shoulder pain is coming from the rotator cuff. The previous tip applies double. This is not a time to go play pitcher to your grandchild, mask or no. Give it a rest.
- NSAIDs are very effective…if you can take them.
- If you are a person of short stature (ladies pay particular attention), then raise yourself up at work stations at home, as well as the office. When you stand at a stove to cook, your shoulder is raised more so than a taller person’s. Get something to stand on, like a bench step aerobics bench. Maybe you still have one out in your garage. They are useful for things other than exercising. You can put them on the floor under your desk, so your feet can reach a firm surface. This helps diminish pressure on the backs of your thighs, and keeps your plantar fascia and Achilles tendon stretched out.
- Lighten your loads. Carry and lift less. Don’t try to load every grocery bag with the maximum weight it can handle. Don’t try to carry in all the bags at once.
- Modify your weight lifting program. Decrease the range of the exercise until you find a pain-free arc. Decrease the reps. Decrease the weight. You don’t have to stop, unless the entire exercise or program is hurting.
- Read my shoulder bursitis post.
- Pain in the back of the shoulder, around the shoulder blade and trapezius, can often be diminished by using tennis ball massage.
To see more information and advice from Dr. Bergin, subscribe to her blog by going to her website at www.drbarbarabergin.com.
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