How To Cope With Chronic Shoulder Pain
Shoulder pain is a common ailment, especially in the modern era of computers and portable screens. It’s one of the conditions that our Ottawa physiotherapists and sports medicine specialists treat the most often.
In many cases, when the pain begins as simply annoying, only getting worse over a longer period of time, busy people may tend to ignore it. That’s a mistake, but luckily it’s one that can usually be corrected.
Find the cause
The first step for our Ottawa physiotherapists and sports medicine specialists would be a thorough evaluation to find the cause. The shoulder is made up of several different bones, muscles, and connective tissues. Any of these areas and structures may prove to be the cause of the pain.
- Rotator cuff – where the bones of the arm and shoulder meet inside the socket, composed of muscles and tendons. Problems may include a partial or full tear of the tendons.
- Joint capsule – the ligament that encapsulates the bones of the shoulder. Disorders include adhesive capsulitis, or frozen shoulder, which has unknown origins.
- Arthritis – acromioclavicular osteoarthritis can can pain in the upper shoulder as well as the joint. Glenohumeral osteoarthritis is more common in older patients.
- Shoulder instability – this is found in patients with a history of multiple shoulder dislocations or subluxations.
Reduce the pain
Treatment depends on the cause, and your medical team will provide specialized advice. Treatment at our Ottawa clinics may involve physiotherapy or massage therapy. There is also a lot you can do on your own at home to help alleviate the pain.
- Rest and avoid – it’s only common sense to include resting from whatever activity is causing you pain, and avoiding it if you can. If you work at a computer, that may involve reorganizing your workspace to be ergonomic, and support your posture rather than strain it. In sports, it is often bad form that causes undue stress. Talk to a professional who can advise you on making improvements. When it comes to other activities, modifications and equipment may do the trick, such as using a grip rather than reaching to a top shelf.
- Medications – over the counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications can be used to provide temporary relief from pain and inflammation. Your primary medical professional may also prescribe stronger medications if necessary.
- Heat – applying moist heat for about 20 minutes a time, up to four or five times a day, can also provide relief to tired and overworked muscles.
- Exercises – your Ottawa physiotherapist or sports medicine specialist can advise you on specific exercises that can help relieve pain as well as strengthen the muscles and provide better support.
If you are experiencing pain in your shoulder area, don’t hesitate to contact one of our Ottawa physiotherapy and chiropractic clinics today. Our trained and specialized medical professionals are ready to help.