Shoulder Pain

Lifting your bag hardly succeeds, let alone throwing it over your shoulder. Grab a coffee from the top shelf? Forget it. Your shoulder is in your way! Fortunately, shoulder complaints usually go away on their own. But is it better to keep your shoulder still or move? You can read that in this article!

What is shoulder pain?

With shoulder complaints, you have problems with your shoulder joint. The pain can also radiate to your shoulder blades, arm, hand, or neck. Moving, such as lifting your arm, is often difficult and painful. You can also have pain in your shoulder at rest. Lying on your shoulder, for example, when you are sleeping, may not be possible due to the pain. Because you can rollover at night and still lie on your shoulder and arm, you may have more pain in your shoulder and arm at night.

What is the cause of pain in your shoulder?

Your shoulder can start to hurt from straining. Acute shoulder pain comes on suddenly, for example, if you lifted something too heavy or made a crazy movement during exercise. You may also experience shoulder discomfort if you overload it for a long time with repeated movements.

The overload causes an inflammatory response in the muscles and tendons around the shoulder joint. That inflammation causes pain.

Have you got pain in your shoulder after falling? Maybe you have a bursitis.

How long does shoulder pain last?

Most shoulder complaints disappear on their own after two to six weeks. Recovery usually goes quickly if the shoulder pain has an unambiguous cause, such as a minor sports injury or if your shoulder has made a strange movement. It usually lasts longer if the pain is the result of long-term overload.

What can you do with shoulder complaints?

You may prefer to keep your shoulder still when it hurts. But it is important to keep moving. This will prevent your shoulder from getting stiff and getting stuck.

Just try to keep doing your daily activities. However, it is wise to avoid too heavy a load that clearly aggravates the pain. Also, avoid repetitive movements.

To relieve the pain, you can take a pain reliever such as acetaminophen. You can also cool or heat your shoulder with a hot water bottle. This may feel nice, but it does not speed up the recovery process.

How can you avoid shoulder pain?

If your daily work demands a lot from your shoulders, good muscle condition is important to prevent shoulder complaints. Also, pay attention to the correct technique for your work: for example, pay attention to your posture when you are at the computer all day or learn correct lifting techniques if you carry a lot of heavy stuff.

When exercising, ensure a good warm-up and cool-down. Unfortunately, acute injuries can never be completely prevented.

When should you see a doctor?

Shoulder complaints usually disappear on their own. Call your doctor if:

  • The pain does not subside after two weeks.
  • The pain is very severe and gets worse.
  • The pain gets worse when you cough.
  • You suspect you have an injury, for example, due to sports or an accident.
  • Your shoulder will hurt when you exert yourself.