Shoulder pain can be frustrating, especially if you are often on the go. There are numerous causes for pain in the shoulder, from carrying a purse that is too heavy to repeated use strain. No matter what caused your shoulder pain, here are a few tips to help ease your pain and get yourself back to normal.

Ice, Ice, Baby
Ice should be the first item in your arsenal when you experience shoulder pain. Pain is often an indication of swelling. Swelling will compress your nerves and add to the pain. Ice will minimize the swelling and relieve some of the pain. Apply ice packs in intervals for the first 24 hours after a shoulder injury.

Bring On The Heat
After the first 24-t-48-hour period of using ice to bring down the swelling, you can begin using heat to treat your pain. Heat encourages healing and blood flow to the injured area, but it can also increase swelling, so it should not be used on a fresh injury. Ice first to reduce swelling, then apply heat after a day or two to encourage healing and reduce pain.

Apply Pain Relief
Over-the-counter medications and topical pain relievers can be useful for shoulder pain treatment over short periods of time. Ibuprofen will help reduce swelling while relieving pain, while acetaminophen can help with pain but not swelling.

Stretch It Out
There are several stretches you can use to help relieve the pain in your shoulder and encourage a greater range of motion:


  • Easy Seated Twist: Sit in a cross-legged pose, with your left hand on your right knee. As you exhale, twist to the right slowly. Hold that position and inhale. Exhale and twist back forward. Repeat in the other direction.


  • Thunderbolt pose: Kneel with both arms over your head. On exhale, round your back, bring your forehead to the ground, and bring your arms behind you. Hold for inhale. Exhale and unfold back to starting position.


  • Corpse pose: Lie on your back with your arms out to the side and eyes closed. Retain this relaxed position for 3-5 minutes, breathing deeply.


  • Gentle shoulder rolls: Roll your shoulders back toward your ears and down for a count of five. Reverse direction and roll for another count of five.


Minor pain in the shoulder is common and can be treated with ice, heat, and exercise. If pain continues beyond a few days or worsens, seek shoulder pain treatment with your local ME.