In 2010, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that as many as 1.2 million people went to an emergency room for some type of shoulder problem. Add to this that millions more likely suffer from chronic shoulder problems that did not necessitate a hospital visit and you have a problem that affects a great deal of the population.
Where Does Shoulder Pain Come From:
Injuries are often the cause of shoulder pain, whether it is from sports or an accident. Overuse causes other shoulder problems and then there is simple wear and tear or arthritis. Shoulder injuries can also cause a weakness in the tissue that holds the shoulder together and this weakness, over time, can become a chronic issue.
How to Treat Shoulder Pain:
Depending on the severity of the problem, surgery might be an option. If there is a substantial tear, no amount of natural healing is going to repair the problem like surgery. Since shoulder surgery is so common among athletes, shoulder surgeries are often very successful. For more chronic problems or for problems that do not necessitate surgery, there are effective, natural interventions that can help.
Acupuncture can trigger the body to release endorphins to relieve pain. Acupuncture can also cause the body to produce healing factors and increase blood flow to the affected area, helping the body heal as well as relieving the pain.
Massage improves circulation and can reduce swelling and stiffness. Especially if there is an acute injury, this should be done cautiously or with a massage therapist that is familiar with working with injuries.
Heat can be applied to the area in several ways. Hot Epsom salt bath, heating pad, bead pillows that can be heated. A simple pillow can be made at home by using a sock and uncooked rice. After filling the sock and tying off the end, place the pillow in a microwave for a minute or two and you have something that can mold around the shoulder. Heat will relax the muscles, dilate blood vessels and increase circulation. In the case of an acute injury, this should be done 48 hours after the injury.
4. Herbal Compress
There are great herbal compresses, oils and tinctures that can be applied to the affected area. Especially in the first 48 hours, when you shouldn’t use heat, herbs are a great way to help the shoulder heal in lieu of using ice. Ice will short circuit the bodies natural healing process and while it makes the area feel better by numbing the pain, it will cause an injury to heal more slowly.
There are exercises that can target the muscles, tendons and ligaments that hold and stabilize the shoulder. These exercises should only be done after the acute phase in the case of an injury and should be tailored to your situation by an experienced professional.
If an injury is severe enough, surgery may be an option. But even with surgery, the recovery period will be helped using any or all these remedies. And for more chronic issues where surgery is not an option, the use of these remedies can get you better, faster and with more complete resolution.
Princeton Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine
Our patients know just how effective treatments are for these and a host of other problems. Steven Hoffman, a New Jersey Licensed Acupuncturist and Diplomate in Oriental Medicine, will provide you with a thorough intake and evaluation and a clear, comprehensive diagnosis and treatment plan that will insure that your goals are met or exceeded. Do you want to move past these or other problems? We will help you thrive not just survive!
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