Chronic shoulder pain takes a toll on your mood and your ability to perform daily tasks. When you start losing your range of motion and you feel it every time you make a basic upper body movement, you gain a new appreciation for your healthy shoulders. Your probably took them for granted when they were your most mobile joints, as they're supposed to be, thanks to the versatile groups of muscles and tendons called rotator cuffs. But stress, inflammation, arthritis, poor posture, neck and back problems, rotator cuff strains, and other conditions can leave your shoulder aching, hurting, and with limited mobility.
Manage Stress to Relieve Chronic Shoulder Pain
Your head, neck, and shoulders bear the brunt of physical manifestations of stress. Stress probably contributes to your chronic shoulder pain, and may even be the underlying cause. You're literally shouldering the burden of tension, anxiety, and emotional overload. Gain control over stress to start taming the pain and regaining range of motion.
You'll find your preferred methods of stress relief if you look. For many, getting moving with aerobic exercise, yoga, tai chi, pilates, or other physical activity works wonders. Yoga, tai chi, and other movement-based modalities also improve flexibility and mobility. They fit well into relaxation routines, along with meditation, deep breathing exercises, acupuncture, acupressure, massage therapy, and other options. Aromatherapy, herbal supplements, and other holistic approaches are worth exploring, too.
Acupuncture and Massage for Chronic Shoulder Pain
Combination treatments of acupuncture and massage therapy are a powerful ally against stress and the physical toll it takes on the body. But they offer a lot more if you suffer from chronic shoulder pain. They reduce inflammation, relax muscles and soothe tension, boost circulation, improve immune system and organ function, and otherwise treat pain and restore range of motion.
Acupuncture has repeatedly demonstrated the ability to remedy chronic shoulder pain, free up frozen shoulders, and enhance the joint's mobility in clinical studies. It hasn't only outshone the placebo effect, though; acupuncture consistently outperforms pharmaceutical painkillers and standard orthopedic care.
Improve Posture to Improve Shoulder Function and Comfort
Poor posture has systemic effects. Pain usually starts in your back and shoulders, spreading to your neck and head. It affects your gait, which further throws your entire body out of whack, and it interferes with breathing, circulation, digestive function, and more. Chronic shoulder pain may be a warning sign that your posture is getting worse and starting to cause problems. Poor posture is a degenerative condition without intervention. Corrections should improve the condition of your shoulders. A physical therapist or chiropractor can help, if you need it.
Since most of us spend much of our days seated at a computer, that's an important place to correct posture. Sit up straight, keeping your feet flat on the floor with 2 inches between the edge of the seat and the back of your knees. Position your knees at a 90 to 120-degree angle. Don't hunch your shoulders forward and keep your wrists parallel to the floor; don't angle them up or down as you type or use the mouse. Use the mouse near the keyboard so your arm doesn't angle outward at your shoulder. Remember to get up often to move around and stretch.
Sit in chairs that support your lower back. If you can't reach to keep your feet flat on the floor when you're lounging in your living room furniture, use a foot rest. Invest in a selectively supportive mattress that conforms to your body weight; it's well worth it for your posture and quality of sleep. Rotate it or flip it over once every few months. Don't use a pillow that's so thick it causes your head to angle sharply away from your body.