Have you ever noticed how amazing the shoulder is?
This articulation can make your arm move in so many different ways, in comparison, the knee will make your leg move only one way.
The fact that it can move in so many ways means that it can be injured in so many different ways.
If you do have a shoulder injury right now, go ahead and try the different position to know which one gives you pain :
Bring the arm straight in the air.
Bring arm forward in front of you, then reach out with your hand.
Bring your arm to your side then lift it horizontally away from your body.
Did any of these movements induce pain?
Why is my shoulder hurting?
The best case scenario for your shoulder pain is inflammation of the tendons (tissue that connects the muscles to the joint) at that point icing the shoulder and resting it can reduce the pain and reestablish proper functions. Why did the tendons get inflamed? That is the more important question because that can determine what you should do (or not do) to prevent it. Did you get hit on that shoulder, did you lift something heavy or a repetitive movement can induce inflammation.
The problem becomes more serious from arthritis, torn or ripped rotator cuff or cartilage, bone spurs, dislocated shoulder or in the most urgent danger: Heart attack.
When a direct trauma (another word for injury) to the shoulder is not present, but the pain is there, you can look for referred pain. Sometimes problems that incurred in other parts of your body can cause your shoulder pain. Most common of them all is cervical (neck) injuries that will create a shoulder pain but another more unknown reason is from liver troubles. Working in the physiotherapy/rehabilitation world for over 20 years, we often see an increase in unexplained shoulder pain after holidays and vacations. The reason is that people intend to increase their intake of fried or fatty foods and/or drink more alcohol during those times which can hurt the liver and make it hard. In turn a hardened liver pulls on certain muscles that go all the way up to the shoulder.
What should I do?
First and foremost: GET A PRECISE DIAGNOSTIC.
You could spend so much money trying to solve your shoulder pain with no results if the diagnostic is wrong. Do not try to just mask the pain with pain killers or anti-inflammatory either. A shoulder pain could persist and get worse if not addressed properly. Once you have that diagnostic, your options will be clear:
Can you just rest your shoulder for a week or 2? Can you do rehabilitation exercises? Should you get therapy treatments? Or is surgery the only option for you?
Hopefully you are not part of the small amount of patients that need surgery and can just do rehabilitation exercises to relieve the pain and return to full range of motion in your shoulder.It could also be the least expensive way and the more effort you are willing do to on your own, the less expensive it can be. For example, you could see your therapist and request a program to follow at home and only need to see the therapist 2-3 times a month. Or you could simply follow programs created by TriumphdailyMD.com. These options usually ask for 20-30 min a day, accompanied with a pain relief spray with infused minerals such magnesium to apply while performing the exercises. They will also give you advice and tricks to keep your shoulder from another preventable injury. It becomes up to you to either follow the program and advice.