Have you ever experienced suffering from shoulder pain after a long and tiring day? While I don’t usually get this kind of pain from my work, I sometimes experience shoulder pain as a result of other strenuous activities I am engaged in. Whenever my shoulder is painful, I just want to sit down on the couch or lie down on my back to relax.
I am sure many of you also have suffered from shoulder pain which includes pain between shoulder blades. It is a common complaint among adults and the elderly. It normally occurs when you do activities that put much strain on your shoulders or when you are sitting down in awkward position for a long time. It can also be caused by certain conditions such as gallbladder and heart diseases. Just like shoulder subluxation and other conditions affecting the shoulders, shoulder pain may or may not be a serious condition. But there is more to know about pain in the shoulder so you would be able to properly deal with the problem if you have it.
Common Causes of Shoulder Pain
- Rotator cuff tendinitis
- Shoulder joint arthritis
- Bone spurs
- Broken shoulder bone
- Shoulder dislocation
- Shoulder separation
- Frozen shoulder
- Overuse shoulders
- Referred pain from lung, heart or gallbladder
Some cases of shoulder pain can be prevented with strengthening and stretching exercises involving the rotator cuff and shoulder muscles. Your physical therapist may be able to recommend some suitable exercises for you.
Home Care for Shoulder Pain
There are some simple steps that can help you manage shoulder pain at home:
- Apply ice pack on the affected area and let it sit for 15 minutes. Do it three times daily for three days following the onset of the pain.
- Rest from activities that put pressure on the shoulder for several days until your symptoms improve.
- Manage pain and inflammation by taking acetaminophen or ibuprofen.
- When you have to return to normal activities after signs of improvement, do it slowly.
When to Seek Your Doctor
One of the most serious conditions that cause shoulder pain is referred pain from heart attack. Immediate attention by a medical professional can make a difference between life and death of the patient. Symptoms include crushing pain in the shoulder area that runs from the chest to the jaw, arms and neck. Patients also usually experience sweating, shortness of breath or sweating. If these symptoms occur, call 911 as soon as possible.
In addition, you should also visit your doctor in case of:
- Severe shoulder pain as a result of injury and the affected area shows signs of bruising, swelling or bleeding
- Shoulder pain that comes with redness, fever and swelling
- Shoulder pain that causes problems in shoulder movement
- Pain that lingers for more than a week despite home treatment
- Changes in skin color to blue or red in the affected area
Shoulder pain can affect you anytime. With your understanding about this condition, you will be able to know what to do and when to seek medical attention for your pain.