It’s hard to imagine that there are people who don’t suffer from shoulder muscle pain nowadays. Actually, “the reported annual incidence of shoulder pain in primary care is 14.7 per 1,000 patients per year with a lifetime prevalence of up to 70% (BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders).”

And let’s face it: not everyone has the luxury to go to a doctor. Thankfully, there are great ways to reduce shoulder muscle pain without visiting a hospital. Here’s what you’ll learn in this article:

  • Common reasons for shoulder muscle pain
  • 7 great ways to relieve shoulder pain
  • Preventive methods for a painless future

What Causes Shoulder Muscle Pain

Many things can lead to shoulder muscle pain, and not all of them indicate a hidden illness. The most common causes of shoulder muscle pain are:

  • Bad sitting posture
  • Pulled muscle from lifting heavy objects inproperly or too quickly
  • Excessive workout
  • Stiffness from staying still for too long
  • Underlying spine or joint problems
  • Inflammation of the disk
  • Athritis

Injuries in other places, such as a broken collarbone or arm could also lead to shoulder muscle pain.

Shoulder Massage for Pain

When asked how to relieve shoulder pain, most people’s first reaction is to get a shoulder massage. Overall, a shiatsu massage is the most effective shoulder massage for pain relieving. Shiatsu is also safe for pregnant women. Other massage techniques that can help reduce shoulder muscle pain include tui na, Swedish massage, and hot stone massage. 

Meanwhile, if you don’t want to go to a massage therapist, consider investing in a massage gun. Just remember to never use a massage gun on your neck!

Shoulder Massage Benefits

Do shoulder massages really work? The answer is yes. Similar to shiatsu massage benefits, the main benefits of a shoulder massage include:

  • Reduced muscle soreness
  • Faster injury recovery
  • Stimulate healthy circulation for healthier muscles
  • Relieving stress and anxiety
  • Improved sleeping

However, shoulder massage cannot fully replace physical therapy. Therefore, if you have severe injuries or other conditions causing shoulder muscle pain, you should consult your physician so you can receive proper treatment.

Exercises That Relieve Shoulder Pain

Pre-workout routines, stretches, and flow yoga are all simple exercises to reduce shoulder pain. Point your elbows together in front of your chest and rotate your shoulder blades clockwise or counterclockwise.

Most office yoga moves also focus on stretching yogurt shoulders, neck, and upper back. For example, a desk downward dog, where you stretch your arms forward on the table and slightly press your shoulders and back down can loosen the knots in your shoulder muscles.

Heat Therapy

Applying heat to your shoulder helps promote healthy circulation. It is a great way to relieve frozen shoulder, sitff muscles, muscle spams, and athritis pain. Howeveder, avoid applying heat to a freshly pulled muscle or tendon, or if you notice swelling.

Cold Therapy

If you notice fresh swelling or just injured your shoulder muscle, cold therapy is the most effective to prevent further damage and relive the pain. Use an ice pack or a frozen water bottle wrapped in a towel with intervals for at least  72 hours or until swelling is no longer visible before switching to heat.

Dietary Adjustment

Certain food causes inflammation, which makes you more vulnerable to shoulder muscle pain. If you feel like your shoulder muscles are hurting more than usual or the pain has lasted longer, try to add anti-inflammatory foods to your diet.

Adjust Your Posture

Pay attention to how you stand, sit, and lay down. Are you slouching forward or pulling your shoulders back? Are you causing unncessary tension on your shoulder muscle? Sitting properly or using ergonomic furniture can help redcue shoulder muscle pain by adjusting your postures.

Use a Firm Mattress

If your shoulders tend to hurt after waking up or during sleep, you might need a different mattress. Firm mattress provide more support to your spine, shoulders, and neck. As a result, it reduces the stress and tension your shoulder receives when you’re asleep and can help reduce shoulder muscle pain.

How to Prevent Shoulder Muscle Pain

The best way to prevent shoulder muscle pain is a healthier lifestyle. Pay attention to your posture and avoid prolonged screen time.

If your work involves standing still for a long time, make sure you catch any opportunities to stretch and rotate your shoulder. A regular sleep schedule and actually sleep in bed (instead of passing out on your home office desk) will also make your life less painful.

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