7 Natural Treatments for Rotator Cuff Shoulder Pain!

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Stretch your arm to grab something and feel a sharp shoulder pain. You also have trouble raising your hand or feel you have weakened. If this sounds familiar, rotator cuff injuries or inflammation may be the cause. The rotator cuff is a group of muscles and tendons – the strong chords that attach the muscles to the bones – that surround the shoulder joint. The rotator cuff keeps the shoulder joint in the correct position and allows it to move. Excessive use of the shoulder, injury or even aging-related degeneration can cause inflammation and irritation of the tendons. The pain that follows can make it difficult to do simple things that involve raising your arm above shoulder level, such as brushing your hair or putting on a shirt.

If a tendon or muscle has been torn, you will have severe pain and weakness in your shoulder and arm. The doctor may prescribe non-steroidal analgesics or anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to control pain, as well as physiotherapy to improve rotator cuff problems. In some cases, surgery may also be necessary to treat rotator cuff tears. In mild to moderate cases of rotator cuff injury, these solutions can help you cope with pain and other symptoms:

1. Apply an Ice Pack:

Applying an ice pack for approximately 10 to 30 minutes can help decrease inflammation and pain. But remember, do not let the ice touch your skin directly as it could cause a cold burn. Instead, use a damp towel to wrap the ice pack and then apply it.

2. Rest your Shoulder:

Rest your shoulder and protect it from additional stress can help you heal. Here are some tips that will help you be aware of your shoulder and relieve some of that pain:

  • Sleep on your back or on the side that feels no pain. Placing a pair of pillows under the sore shoulder can also help.
  • While sitting, be sure to raise your head above your shoulders, place your feet on the floor and use a pillow or towel on your lower back for support.
  • Do not carry your purse or backpack over the shoulder that hurts and avoid activities that require you to raise your arms above your shoulders for prolonged periods. Use a ladder or footrest to reach things in height.
  • Keep things you need on hand, such as your mobile phone, so you don’t have to reach them and force your shoulder.

3. Try Physiotherapy Exercises:

“Exercises can help stretch and strengthen the rotator cuff muscles to relieve weakness, stiffness and pain”. 

Your physiotherapist or doctor will evaluate you to determine which muscles are too tight or weak. You may be advised to start with passive exercises that involve the arm and help restore the complete movement of your shoulder. After that, you can be taught exercises that strengthen your shoulder muscles. Here are a couple of exercises that you can include in your program:

Cross Arm Stretch:

This is a stretching exercise. Hold the upper arm and gently pull the arm over the chest as much as possible. Hold that position for 30 seconds and relax. Now repeat the exercise with the other arm. Repeat this cycle 4 times a day for 5 to 6 days a week. Be careful not to put pressure on your elbow.

Foot Stretch:

This is a strengthening exercise and you need an elastic elastic band to perform this exercise. Hook the loop on a door handle or something that is stable and stand holding it. Your elbow should be at your side and bent. Now, keeping your arm close to your side, remove your elbow, squeezing your shoulder blades while doing so. Slowly return to the starting position and repeat. Do this exercise 3 days a week.

4. Drink Pineapple Juice:

Pineapples contain an enzyme known as bromelain that can relieve swelling and pain in soft tissue injuries. Animal studies have also found that bromelain can help in the growth of damaged tendon cells and promote healing. So pour some pineapple juice to heal the injured muscles and tendons of the rotator cuff. You can also take bromelain supplements for this after consulting with your doctor.

5. Take Turmeric:

Inflammation plays a significant role in the pain and discomfort experienced due to rotator cuff injuries. The curcumin, a component present in turmeric, has potent anti – inflammatory properties. It has been found to suppress the activation of nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB), which is a protein involved in the regulation of your body’s inflammatory response. You can add turmeric to your kitchen or prepare a cup of turmeric tea to experience its healing effects. Southeast Asian communities also have turmeric milk to improve healing. To prepare turmeric milk, add a teaspoon of ground turmeric to 175 ml of milk and simmer for about 5 minutes. Adding a pinch of pepper will help your body use curcumin better in turmeric.

6. Try Acupuncture:

The ancient practice of acupuncture can help relieve shoulder pain caused by inflammation of the rotator cuff tendons. Acupuncture is based on the ancient Chinese theory that a blockage or imbalance in the vital force called qi can cause health problems. Stimulating specific points in your body can restore the flow of qi and make it healthy again. A study that looked at athletes experiencing shoulder pain due to inflammation of the rotator cuff tendons found that needle acupuncture was effective in improving their pain.

7. Explore Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy:

Extracorporeal shock wave therapy transmits sound waves through the skin to relieve pain and promote your body’s natural healing abilities. According to one study, when this therapy was used to treat inflammation of the rotator cuff tendons due to abnormal calcium deposition, it improved not only shoulder function and pain, but also reduced the size of calcium deposits.

 

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