Shoulder injuries arise for all different kinds of reasons; from traumatic accidents, sports injuries and general overuse. Though shoulder injuries can arise year round, the sports associated with nicer weather, such as baseball, tennis and golf, can exacerbate these conditions, causing some serious pain in the upper extremity. But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Here are some tips to keeping that shoulder pain at bay after a minor or serious injury.
Chances are, you’ve heard of RICE before. But just in case, RICE stands for Rest, Ice, Compress and Elevate. While using compression and elevating are helpful, with a shoulder injury you’ll get more out of icing the shoulder for 15-20 minutes a few times a day will help reduce pain and swelling and resting; minimizing shoulder movement will allow the shoulder to heal.
2. Warm up and stretch!
It is always recommended to warm up and stretch before an activity, especially if you’re easing back in after an incident. Having a loose body before being physically active increases mobility and reduces the risk of pulls, tears and strains. There are all different kinds of way to stretch before activity so if you’re interested in trying some new moves, check out our blog The Proper Way to Stretch Before Exercising.
When you’re ready to return to activity, increasing shoulder strength can be extremely helpful in creating stability in the joint; avoiding future injuries and degeneration. If you’re new to shoulder exercises, start with bodyweight or low weight exercise and increase over time. Moves like rows, lateral raises and various shoulder rotations help build up the surrounding muscles, providing strength around the joint.
4. Change how you sleep
It’s possible part of the source of your shoulder pain stems from how you sleep. To reduce pain from sleeping, try to avoid sleeping on your painful shoulder. Transition to sleeping on your back instead, switch sides or invest in a side sleeper pillow designed to reduce stress on the shoulder.
5. Take it easy.
Sometimes knowing when to step back is the best option. If you’re still experiencing pain, it’s best to avoid the activity until you’re feeling better to reduce the risk of further injury. When you feel ready to return to activity, be sure to ease in and take it slow!