Our shoulders have the widest range of motion of all of our joints, and they perform a lot of work throughout the day every day of our lives. So if something happens to a shoulder, you can feel a lot of pain and discomfort.
Fortunately, there are a number of ways to treat an injured shoulder. Let’s explore the various treatment approaches you can use to help relieve your shoulder pain:
Take Anti-Inflammatory Medications
There are many over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers that can help relieve mild and temporary shoulder pain. These include ibuprofen (such as Advil), acetaminophen (such as Tylenol), naproxen (such as Aleve), and other nonprescription pain medications.
If OTC medicine isn’t working to relieve your shoulder pain, your orthopedic doctor may prescribe a stronger pain-relief medicine to help lower the level of inflammation and decrease your level of pain. Prescription pain medicine is especially helpful for those who are experiencing tendonitis, arthritis, rotator cuff injuries, and other shoulder problems.
Apply Heat or Cold Therapy
To reduce shoulder pain and inflammation, apply an ice pack for about 20 minutes on your shoulder. Be sure to wrap the ice pack in a fairly thick towel before placing it on your shoulder, and do not apply it directly to the skin, so that you will not get frostbite. If your skin starts to hurt from the cold therapy, remove it right away.
A heat pack is great for shoulder pains wherein your muscles feel tense and sore. Just like with the cold pack, wrap the heat pack in a towel (to avoid burning your skin) and then apply it to the tight shoulder muscles for about 20 minutes.
There are also over-the-counter heat and cold therapies that you can use to treat your shoulder pain, such as patches and creams. Be sure to follow the package’s directions and do not overuse these medications, as they are skin-absorbed medicines and can produce an overdose effect.
Fix Your Posture
Bad posture may also impact your shoulders. The following are some pointers to help you keep your shoulders in the proper positioning:
- Avoid leaning too much on your arms when sitting down.
- Let your arms hang normally by your sides when standing or walking to help them relax.
- Sit and stand up straight, and try not to slouch.
- Regularly change your seating position.
- Use a cushion, pillow, or chair with lumbar support for your lower back, which also supports your shoulders.
Shoulder Pain Treatment in San Antonio
There are various treatment approaches you can use to ease pain in your shoulders. If you feel that over-the-counter medications and other home treatments are not working to address your shoulder problems, or if you think you may have a dislocated shoulder or rotator cuff tear, consult with us at the Center for Orthopaedic Surgery and Sports Medicine. Our board-certified physicians will give you the most effective noninvasive treatments possible and, if necessary, effective surgical procedures to relieve your shoulder pain.
Contact our team today by calling us at (210) 692-7400, or you may request an appointment online now. We look forward to serving you!