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The Aching Shoulder

Spent too many hours playing backyard cricket? 

Carried too many groceries in one trip?

Spent a few hours throwing the kids around the pool ?

Xmas bootcamp special training session that goes for 30 minutes longer than usual?

Hitting the gym getting ready for 2021 after having a break rushing into Xmas?

In the hours following any of the above scenarios, your shoulder begins to ache. It’s a dull ache, you don’t think you felt a tear or major damage, maybe that bursitis thingy is flaring up, should you take some drugs to settle it down?

We are talking about the kind of pain you may not have noticed during activity but definitely feel in the hours right after. Keep reading to find out where to start your management for your Aching shoulder?

What have I done? Am I injured?

No pain during an activity doesn’t mean that damage didn’t occur. Should you panic though? Not really, unless the pain persists in the days following without improvement, then it may be worth seeing your Physiotherapist for an opinion.

The post exercise ache, is your body telling you that you were not strong, or fit enough to have participated in said activity without some repercussions.

Shoulder pain causes can be related to a few structures around the shoulder joint including; stability muscles like the rotator cuff and their tendons (muscles in the shoulder), or bursa (friction pad) irritation due to poor shoulder movement, or even the joint due to overload following muscle fatigue.

Regardless, you should not disregard this pain experience. Your body is setting a benchmark for tolerance to future activities. This means that if you repeat the same activity in the future you may have the same painful result, UNLESS you have undertaken an appropriate strength program.

Where to Start your Management?

As good as general rest can be (aka stop doing the thing that made you sore), gentle and pain-free movement is one of the best things you can do to reset those tight, sore shoulder muscles or the joints. So, don’t go lay on the couch hoping it will just go away.

Otherwise trialling heat or ice application in the area may help with general comfort. Yes, there may be a preference to one or the other depending on your injury. However, if you are unsure of what has actually happened then give both a go. Neither modality will cause great disruption to the healing process.

Medication may be required if the pain is persisting and becomes too uncomfortable to tolerate. However best to discuss this with your GP or Pharmacist as the different types of medication may aid or persist your normal inflammatory process.


Strength Exercises and Physio

Final thought! The Aching Shoulder, much like most general aches within the body, are typically a result of your body being pushed past its tolerance level. Once the muscles have fatigued, it’s the joints / ligaments / tendons taking much more strain then anticipated which can result in pain. The BEST WAY to improve your body’s tolerance to any activity is by EXERCISING.

One of the best ways in order to avoid any shoulder injuries is to be doing some form of shoulder exercise. Not only can this specific exercise variation help prevent shoulder injuries, shoulder tip pain, or a pinched nerve in the shoulder, it can also help prevent further complications like pain between the shoulder blades. 

The team at Leaders Physiotherapy in the Brisbane CBD are here to not only settle that shoulder ache, however we strive to improve your bodies general tolerance to activity so that same pain does not occur again in the future.

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