One should not ignore shoulder pain. Particularly when it becomes a chronic condition, one must seek effective shoulder pain treatment. Before seeing a doctor and perhaps an orthopaedic specialist at Providence, there are some remedies that one can use effectively at home. In many situations, one can get shoulder pain relief from overcoming stiffness, and by increasing range of motion, strength and flexibility. Exercises and stretching can reduce pain and restore flexibility.
Stiffness and pain in the shoulder joints can limit motion, and many people avoid the movements that cause discomfort. This is the shoulder pain trap; non-use of the joint creates greater limitation. As one moves the shoulders less, they can become nearly immobile or frozen. Over-the-counter pills can help many people get past this stage. Heat packs and cold packs offer temporary relief. However, when mild stretching and moderate exercise do not resolve shoulder pain, it is time to consult a doctor.


Most shoulder conditions fall into one of these four categories: tendon inflammation (bursitis or tendinitis) or tendon tear, shoulder joint instability, arthritis, and shoulder injury. Shoulder injury includes dislocations, and tears of the rotator cuff, the soft tissues that surround the shoulder bones. Treatment for any shoulder ailment focuses not only on the particular injury or condition, but also on strengthening the entire area to protect the joint from further injury and bring the maximum level of function.


Among the conditions that will require orthopaedic care are severe injuries to the shoulder bones or soft tissues. Severe injury includes fractures, dislocations and tears to the tendons and rotator cuff. When examination by MRI, X-Ray, and trace injections of coloured dyes show particular damage, orthopaedic specialists will consider invasive treatments like arthroscopic and open surgery. Surgical approaches can repair a wide variety of conditions. For example, they can release a frozen joint by reducing scar tissue buildups, repair tears to the rotator cuff, and reattach tendons. Non-surgical options include pain-killer injections, and loosening a frozen joint by manipulation under anesthesia.


Joint instability is a particularly painful and troublesome condition; the ball of the joint moves outside of the joint space. This is a type of dislocation that results from a lack of supportive and connective tissues to hold the joint in place. This condition may require surgery to reestablish connective tissues. The overall goal is to strengthen the joint support system of soft tissues, tendons and muscles. Therapy is an important part of recovery from instability and dislocation injuries.

Some advanced shoulder pain treatment involves degenerative conditions like osteoarthritis. One factor is that limitation from pain causes greater loss of mobility. Some basic principles for relief apply to advanced arthritis. Stretching, exercise and flexibility can reduce the discomfort and increase joint function. One can strengthen areas around the joint where the collar bone, scapula, and the humerus meet. The muscles of the upper arm, shoulder, and neck area can provide better support and help regain mobility.

Shoulder conditions can limit daily functions and cause mild to severe discomfort. Orthopaedic remedies offer many effective options to reduce pain and increase shoulder joint motion, flexibility, and strength. Combined with physical therapy, many people have a complete recovery. Stretching and exercise can resolve many complaints. However, when pain and limitation persists, orthopaedic care can provide effective, long-lasting solutions.

Stop Shouldering a Burden: At-Home Shoulder Pain Relief by Providence Orthopaedics Experts