Shoulder Pain: Possible Causes and Natural Remedies

    Shoulder Pain: Possible Causes and Natural Remedies

    You don’t often think about your shoulders until you feel it aching. You may be going about your day when all of a sudden, you hear a pop. Afterward, a distracting, uncomfortable pain follows. At times, your shoulder just feels heavy. Shoulder pain makes even simple tasks – like typing or combing your hair – difficult. In this article, we will talk about different shoulder pain causes and remedies.

    What Is Shoulder Pain?

    Before we discuss shoulder pain causes and remedies, let’s first define the condition. Shoulder pain is a common complaint. It may arise directly from the shoulder joint or the surrounding tissues. If the pain worsens when you move, the pain may be due to the joint or the muscles in the area. However, if the pain doesn’t worsen with movement, another condition may be causing it.

    What Are the Types of Shoulder Pain?

    Because another condition may be causing the pain, it’s important to know about the different shoulder pain causes and remedies.

    Concerning that, you must first identify the types of shoulder pain. The pain may be:

    • Aching. Since aching shoulder pain may be caused by a tear in the cartilage inside the joint or osteoarthritis, the pain is consistent. Additionally, it can be caused by a “frozen shoulder,” also known as adhesive capsulitis. A frozen shoulder typically develops if you cannot move your shoulder for a long time. People who had stroke or those who underwent mastectomy (removal of the breast) are at risk of having a frozen shoulder.
    • Burning. Burning shoulder pain may be due to inflammation, such as bursitis. Bursitis is the inflammation of bursae, or the small fluid-filled sacs that cushion the bones, muscles, and tendons of the shoulder joint. Burning pain can also be because of a tear in the rotator cuff. A rotator cuff is a group of muscles and tendons surrounding the shoulder joint.
    • Radiating. Sometimes, the pain originates from somewhere else and just radiates to your shoulder. If this is the case, then another condition may be causing the shoulder pain. The most common is when you have a pinched nerve on your neck.
    • Referred. Referred pain is felt on your shoulders, but the truth is, another part of your body has a problem. For example, when you have abdominal issues, like gallstones or pancreatitis, you may also experience shoulder pain. A heart problem can also sometimes manifest through shoulder pain.

    The type of pain is directly connected to the shoulder pain causes and remedies. When you experience shoulder pain, be sure to ask yourself – what kind of pain am I feeling? This might give you an immediate idea about the cause and the needed remedy.

    What are the Shoulder Pain Causes and Remedies?

    Aside from knowing about the different types of shoulder pain, it’s also important to know the different shoulder pain causes and remedies.

    The Common Causes of Shoulder Pain

    • Inflammation of the bursae (bursitis) and tendons (tendonitis)
    • Torn tendons. A tendon is a cord that connects muscles to bones.
    • Impingement happens when the shoulder blade “rubs” on the underlying tissues of the shoulder.
    • Arthritis or the swelling of the shoulder joint.
    • Fracture (broken bones)

    Remedies for Shoulder Pain

    Lastly, when it comes to shoulder pain causes and remedies are the tips on how to lessen or prevent the pain. You can do the following:

    Perform Some Changes in Your Activities

    Do not overexert or overdo things, not even when you don’t feel pain. Take breaks and rest in between labor-intensive tasks.

    Use an Ice Pack

    To relieve the pain, you can use an ice pack for 15 to 20 minutes. Just make sure that you’ll take at least a 2-hour break between each application. Additionally, ensure that your skin is protected since “ice burn” might happen.

    Take Natural Pain Relievers

    There are available herbals to soothe the pain. You can take them, especially when the pain becomes distracting. Included in these herbals are luyang dilaw, and Yerba buena.

    Do Some Shoulder Stretches

    The best natural remedy for shoulder pain is to perform shoulder stretches.

    One exercise you can do is the Seated Shoulder Stretch.

  • The starting position for this stretch exercise is to sit up straight on a chair.
  • Hold your right shoulder using your left hand.
  • Finally, use your right hand to cup your left elbow.
  • To stretch, rotate your shoulder down and back.
  • Then, stretch your left arm across your chest.
  • Hold the position for 10 to 30 seconds as you feel the stretch.
  • Go back to the starting position. This is equivalent to one rep.
  • Repeat two to four times on each shoulder.
  • Another exercise is the Seated Chest Stretch.

    • The starting position for this is to seat up straight, facing sideways.
    • Use a chair without arms.
    • To stretch, roll your shoulders down and back.
    • Afterward, clasp your arms behind you, with your fingers intertwined and your palms facing your back.
    • Gently lift your hands until you feel the tightness.
    • Hold it for 10 to 30 seconds before going back to the starting position. This is one rep.
    • Repeat two to four times.

    When to See a Doctor

    After knowing about the different shoulder pain causes and remedies, it’s time to determine when you need medical attention. Generally, go to the doctor when you:

    • Experience difficulty breathing and chest tightness along with the shoulder pain. This could indicate heart attack and is therefore a medical emergency.
    • Become incapable of moving your shoulder away from you.
    • Notice any joint deformity.
    • Feel intense pain.
    • Experience sudden swelling in the area.
    • Have pain along with redness, swelling, warmth around the joint, and tenderness.

    Key Takeaways on Shoulder Pain Causes and Remedies

    To better understand the pain, it’s important to note the different shoulder pain causes and remedies.

    Most of the time, you can soothe the pain using various natural remedies. Don’t forget to take frequent breaks during labor-intensive work and to rest after a long, hard day.

    Additionally, you can perform shoulder stretches if you feel that your shoulders are bearing too much work. After knowing the shoulder pain causes and remedies, it’ll be easier for you to know if you need to seek medical attention.

    Learn more about Musculoskeletal Pain here.

    Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

    Medically reviewed by

    Jobelle Ann Dela Cruz Bigalbal, MD

    General Practitioner

    Written by Lorraine Bunag, R.N. · Updated Nov 09, 2021