Updated: May 31
Do you have shoulder pain? Do you feel powerless to do anything about it? Yes, you want a solution. But what you do can stop or increase your shoulder pain. Furthermore, maybe you did the wrong things in the past. This is why it's important to know what mistakes to avoid.
Feeling like this can be difficult. But, we know you want to get better, and our pain management NYC specialist can help.
In this article, you'll learn about the mistakes people make that result in shoulder pain and how you can alleviate the pain.
Shoulder Pain Problem
Shoulder pain is a common complaint. It can be debilitating and make it almost impossible to do even the most simple of actions, such as lifting your arm above your head. It seems like such a simple movement, but even for someone with shoulder pain, this is challenging. [Read this article: Do You Have Shoulder Pain Problems?]
The shoulder is a complicated joint that is affected by many factors beyond just the bones.
But what happens if you don't seek medical attention right away? Shoulder injuries can worsen if left untreated — especially if they're recurrent. Moreover, the longer you wait to get help, the more likely your injury will become more serious and complicated than it needs to be.
There are mistakes you may be making that are causing your symptoms. Here are some of the most common mistakes that can lead to further complications or even cause permanent damage.
It's tempting to diagnose yourself with the latest health buzzwords or trends you've seen in the news or on social media. Many people go online and self-diagnose themselves with rotator cuff tendonitis or bursitis, which are two common shoulder injuries.
However, it's important not to self-diagnose because there are many causes of shoulder pain. Some of them may be minor injuries, others could be more serious, and only an experienced medical professional can make an proper diagnosis.
The most common causes of shoulder pain include:
Injuries from sports or other physical activities Arthritis (osteoarthritis)
Tendinitis or bursitis (inflammation of a tendon or bursa)
Frozen shoulder syndrome (adhesive capsulitis)
If your shoulder hurts, don't assume you know what's causing it. To treat your shoulder pain, you need to understand the reason behind it. It's important to get a accurate diagnosis before taking any type of pain treatment. A pain specialist can help you diagnose the problem and develop a treatment plan that suits your needs.
2. Ignoring symptoms
When you're feeling pain, whether in your shoulder or anywhere else, you should always pay attention to it and make sure that it's nothing serious. Shoulder pain may seem like an inevitable part of life at times, but it's important not to ignore symptoms or try to tough them out. [Read this article: 3 Reasons Why You Shouldn't Ignore Shoulder Pain]
Ignoring symptoms can delay treatment and prevent effective pain relief. Also, it could lead to further damage and set you up for more long-term issues. If your symptoms persist for more than two weeks, you should see a pain specialist to rule out other causes of shoulder pain and determine the best course of treatment.
Pain in the front, back, or side of the shoulder
Swelling near the joint
Limited movement of the affected joints
3. Not getting enough rest
Rest is one of the best ways to heal from injuries like rotator cuff tears or bursitis in the shoulder joint. When you have an injury or pain in your body, it's easy to want to push through it rather than rest properly.
However, this can make things worse in the long run if you don't give yourself enough time to recover from your injury or pain before trying to return to normal activities like exercise or work. If you are having trouble sleeping because of pain, talk to your healthcare provider about ways that may help you sleep better at night.
4. Not giving it enough time to heal
If you have an injury or inflammation in one of your joints, whether it's a knee or elbow, you probably know that it takes time to heal. But when it comes to shoulders, the healing process can take even longer than you'd imagine. That's because your shoulders are made up of so many different muscles and tendons that all work together to keep your arm stable and strong.
If one area is injured, it can throw off everything else in the joint and make movement much more painful than normal. Even if you're not in pain when you rush back into using the arm, it will still take time to heal and could get worse faster than if you had given it that time. So take a break of at least two weeks if you have a sprain or strain, but allow for three or four weeks after treatment if there are any tears or other serious injuries. During this downtime, focus on rest and rehabilitation techniques.
Once you're fully healed, don't forget about prevention—in order to keep your shoulder healthy long-term, make sure to strengthen the muscles around it and continue exercises that will help keep things moving smoothly.
5. Doing too much too soon
When dealing with shoulder pain from a sports injury or a fall, it's tempting to want to be back in action as soon as possible. While you may want your shoulder to feel better quickly, rushing into an activity before all the healing is done can set you back with more pain and slow recovery.
Handling your shoulder when it's injured can create small tears in the soft tissue that need time to heal, and rushing into activities without giving them the chance to do so can worsen the injury and potentially cause more damage.
6. Not warming up properly
Warming up is important for any workout, but especially for the shoulders because of the complicated range of motion required to function properly. It will increase blood flow to the muscles and tissues in the joint, which helps reduce inflammation and pain.
Warming up also prepares your body for activity by providing mobility exercises as well as strengthening exercises that prepare your joints for increased stressors. Seek help from a physical therapist for proper ways of stretching.
Shoulder Pain Treatment
The first step in determining what's going on is seeing a pain specialist for an accurate diagnosis. If you suspect that you have a serious problem, don't hesitate to seek help from a pain management NYC specialist, especially if your pain worsens or doesn't improve after a short time.
Once you find out what's causing your shoulder pain, there are plenty of ways to treat it. A pain physician will be able to refer you to a specialist if necessary or prescribe you physical therapy if needed.
Most injuries heal with time and patience, but some aggravated conditions may lead to chronic pain. As this post should have demonstrated, there's a lot you can do to prevent further injury—particularly if you are proactive about your recovery.
Above all else, remember that shoulder pain doesn't have to be a permanent part of your life. Sure, there will always be some discomfort, but a better understanding of what is causing the pain will provide you with many treatment options.