Arthritis in shoulder – 3 quick and easy tips to help ease the pain…
Article by R. Hidalgo
What is the first thing that you think about or feel when you have arthritis in shoulder…- PAIN!!!…
Do you have an unbearable, nagging pain? How many people wish they can just get rid of it in a snap?
Do you have pain or discomfort in just doing basic activities like lifting your arm up to change clothes, brushing your teeth, scrubbing your back, or even just waving or giving a hug to friends or family.
Maybe you just want to enjoy activities without having to deal with the pain at work or fun.
Here are 3 quick and easy tips to ease the pain…
First tip is to understand it, so you can treat it better.
Arthritis in basic form is joint (Greek – arthro) inflammation (itis). Or in this case, inflammation (swelling) of the shoulder joint or/and the tissues surrounding it. This swelling is what’s causing the pain with arthritis in shoulder.
How does the swelling happen? There are a number of ways:
– Overuse or repeated movements over and over again to the joint. Athletes are susceptible to this. Or people whose job demands require this.
– Age. Daily wear and tear especially on the cartilage (this is what keeps the shoulder moving smoothly). There is no escape from this one. Main group of people is the over 50.
– Injury to the shoulder. Includes by falls, car accidents, being hit, or sleeping in awkward positions.
– Obesity or inactivity. Muscles around the shoulder that helps protect and move it becomes weak or is not strong enough to support shoulder activity.
– One area not discussed enough but can be a factor is muscle tightness around the shoulder. Tight muscles around the joint can pull on the bones opposite the joint causing more pressure than normal to compress the shoulder joint.
Other causes that may require more medical attention are: – Infection – related to Osteoarthritis or Rheumatoid arthritis. – Genetics or heredity. Causes different shapes of bone formation on the shoulder joint surfaces or the bones themselves.
Second tip… practice prevention… this not only helps relieve the pain but prevents arthritis in shoulder from getting worse.
Exercise – it keeps the muscles around the joint strong, stable, and flexible. Start with light resistance exercise using rubber bands or tubes, and then gradually increase with heavier resistance. Try kettle bell exercises that involve light swinging of the arm. Remember to START LIGHT, VERY LIGHT!!!!
Stretching- keeps the muscles and ligaments in the shoulder flexible and ability to achieve the full range of motion. Helps prevent injuries. Tight shoulder tissues pull and distort the normal connection of the shoulder and therefore cause pain when nerves are pinched.
Massage- keeps muscles loose and unrestrictive. Try a technique called self-myofascial release. Use a tennis ball and roll it around the shoulder then hold it for 20 to 30 seconds on the tender spots. This technique helps loosen tight muscles fast.
Diet and nutrition- This is one of the major factors that affect arthritis in shoulder or in just about any part of the body. Many people eat too many foods that cause inflammation (and not to mention obesity). One such food is coffee. Just switching to tea (green tea is best) would help reduce inflammation due to polyphenols (an antioxidant) in the drink. Eating more fruits and vegetables and other foods high in antioxidants and reducing or completely getting rid of processed food and sweets would have an immediate effect in reducing inflammation in the body.
Third tip… ease the pain… always consult with a doctor before using any of the techniques described.
Ice- using a cold pack or compress can immediately reduce inflammation and pain in the shoulder affected by arthritis. This is done because the cold constricts the blood vessels and the surrounding tissues, reducing circulation. It also has a numbing effect on the area applied. Remember to limit the use of ice to no more than 15-20 minutes or the negative effect of healing will occur- frostbite. This should not be used (or limited to 5 min) if you have a condition of poor blood circulation such as diabetes or other conditions that your doctor may not recommend. Remember to apply the ice with a clean cloth or towel and not directly to the skin. The process can be repeated after 30 minutes to 2 hours.
Warm/Heat- using warm or heat therapy can help aching and stiff shoulders by stimulating blood circulation. Increased blood circulation warms the area and allows the muscles to relax and relieve pain. Methods for doing this include using a warm gel pad or water jets like those in Jacuzzis. Water jets are the better option because they massage and warm the shoulder at the same time. This can help healing to occur faster.
Immobilize/stabilize- keeping the arm from moving is one way to prevent the shoulder from getting worse. This is not the same as not doing anything with the shoulder at all. Inactivity will weaken the muscles, leading to injuries. The arm should be stabilized in times like sleeping or when pain is unbearable. One position to avoid is sleeping with the arm above the head. This overstretches the ligaments and muscles around the shoulder. The arm shoulder should be placed beside the body on top of a pillow to avoid pressure on the shoulder.
Medication-prescription or nonprescription drugs can help reduce the inflammation and pain. These are nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs-pronounced en-sayds); common over the counter ones are aspirin and ibuprofen. There are adverse affect of using these so doctors should be consulted.
In conclusion.Following these three simple steps…can help relieve arthritis in shoulder pain or any other pain.-First understand the problem so you can treat it better.-Second practice prevention, and-Last, use first aid with recommendation from a physician.
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