Shoulder pain is a widespread and common problem — 14.7 per 1,000 primary care patients in the U.S. experience shoulder pain each year, with a lifetime prevalence of up to 70%, Science Direct reports. Shoulder pain can be temporary or part of a long-term condition like rheumatoid arthritis, polymyalgia rheumatica, and osteoarthritis. It can also be caused by cold weather and mold exposure, poor posture, and muscle overuse, damage, and inflammation. Whatever the cause of your shoulder pain, there’s numerous ways to heal it naturally.
Alleviating cold-weather shoulder pain
Damp weather commonly triggers shoulder problems. The shift in barometric pressure causes tendons, muscles, and tissues to expand and places extra stress on your joints. People with rheumatoid arthritis also report experiencing pain flare-ups in the cold. Heat pads can relieve cold-weather pain and soothe sore shoulders.
Moreover, damp conditions and indoor mold are huge issues that result in muscle pain, fatigue, headaches, coughing, and difficulty breathing. In fact, indoor pollutants, including toxic mold, are 2-5 times more concentrated than outdoor pollutants and cause over 50% of patient illnesses. It’s therefore important to eradicate mold from your home if present. Small areas of mold can be removed with simple undiluted white vinegar. Large mold problems, however, should be addressed by professionals.
Improve range of motion with sleeper stretch
The sleeper stretch can help improve range of motion in your shoulders, improve flexibility, and reduce pain, so you can complete daily activities with better ease. One study in the Journal of Athletic Training found this stretch increased internal shoulder rotation and range of motion in baseball players. The sleeper stretch targets the infraspinatus and there teres minor muscles located in the rotator cuff — muscles responsible for shoulder stability.
To perform the stretch, lie down on your affected side. Bend the arm at 90 degrees in an L-position; your elbow should be perpendicular to your torso. Use your other arm to gently press your forearm to the floor. You’ll feel the stretch in your shoulder, arm, or upper back. Hold for sixty seconds. Perform 3-5 reps at least 2-3 times per week until your shoulder pain goes.
Devil’s claw: natural shoulder pain relief
Available in tablets, capsules, liquid extracts, and ointments, devil’s claw is a powerful natural pain reliever. In a study of people with mild-to-moderate back, neck, or shoulder pain, taking devil’s claw for 4 weeks resulted in moderate muscle pain relief. Additionally, a 54-week study compared 38 people who took devil’s claw with 35 people who took rofecoxib (Vioxx), a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug. Devil’s claw was just as effective as Vioxx at relieving pain (which has since been taken off the market). Devil’s claw contains iridoid glycosides, which has strong anti-inflammatory abilities. It also contains harpagoside, an iridoid thought to relieve pain and inflammation.
Shoulder pain can usually be treated without consulting a doctor. However, if your pain lasts longer than two weeks (or gets worse), seek medical attention. You may have a serious injury that requires treatment or surgery.
Article provided by Katlyn Mercer