When it comes to relieving shoulder pain, there are many different
treatment options. Success varies not only by each individual's
shoulder but also by what's causing your shoulder pain. Care for
arthritis pain, for example, often involves a combination of
treatments. Be sure to consult your doctor to discuss the best
treatment plan for you.
Many drugs, both prescriptions and over-the-counter
medications, are used to treat arthritis and control pain. Common
medications are aspirin-free pain relievers, anti-inflammatory
drugs, corticosteroids, disease modifiers, and sleep medications.
Regular exercise, including joint and muscle exercises, is
important to improve strength and flexibility. It may lessen pain,
increase movement, reduce fatigue, and help you look and feel
better. And when done properly, will not "wear out" joints
or increase osteoarthritis.
Use of heat or cold over
joints may provide temporary relief from pain and stiffness. Cold
packs help reduce inflammation and swelling and may be useful for
flare-ups. Heat assists in relaxing muscles and increasing
Sometimes hyaluronic acid, a
substance produced in natural, healthy joints, is used to provide
temporary relief from shoulder pain. Anesthetics also may be
injected with a corticosteroid anti-inflammatory medicine (usually
cortisone) to numb your shoulder and help keep pain at bay.
Physical and occupational therapy
Physical therapists can work with you to create a personalized
exercise program and show you how to use therapeutic heat and
massage. Occupational therapists can introduce you to all kinds of
Give your shoulder a short rest to let
the inflammation subside. When avoidance is not possible, try
alternating arms, or periods of activity with periods of rest, so
your shoulders don’t tire from the stress of repeated tasks.
Talking about your feelings with family members and friends,
doing mental exercises such as meditations, and joining local
support groups can help you better manage your shoulder pain.
Nontraditional and alternative treatments
Since herbal and dietary supplements are not regulated by most
healthcare and regulatory authorities, and the effectiveness of
these treatments is not widely supported by accepted scientific
research, it is extremely important for you to consult with your
physician about all supplements and medications that you’re taking
or considering taking.