About one in ten people will experience shoulder pain at some point in their lives. Are you, or someone you know part of that statistic?

Shoulder problems aren’t usually a matter of life or death, but they make living life to the fullest difficult. In many cases shoulder pain limits one’s range of motion. This makes performing day-to-day tasks tricky. Something as simple as putting on a jacket or buckling a seat belt can become a complicated and painful endeavour.

What Causes Shoulder Pain?

The shoulder joint is made up for bones held in place by muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Shoulder problems occur when these soft tissues begin to break down. Using the shoulder too much will cause the soft tissues to break down faster, especially as people get older. Individuals who play sports or perform manual labour are more likely to experience shoulder problems. That being said, shoulder pain can also be caused by an acute injury.

Some of the most common shoulder problems are:

  • Dislocation
  • Separation
  • Rotator cuff tear
  • Frozen shoulder
  • Fracture
  • Arthritis

Pain can be felt in a localized area or a larger area depending on the issue. It may also travel down the nerves into the upper arm. In most cases, shoulder pain is not felt unless the arm is in movement or pressure is being applied on the shoulder (as is the case in some sleep positions).

Natural Ways to Relieve Shoulder Pain

  1. If the pain is bad, rest up. Resting the shoulder is extremely important after an injury. Try not to use your shoulder for 48 hours to let the soft tissue heal.
  2. Ice, Ice, Ice, Baby. Icing your shoulder will help decrease swelling. Ice your shoulder for 15 minutes every hour until the pain and swelling has gone down.
  3. If pain is manageable, stay active! Staying active is important, it increases your range of motion and will help strengthen the weakened tissues in your shoulder.  Speak with your health care provider to find out what kind of exercises are best suited for your particular shoulder injury. Not seeking outside assitance? This Men’s Health article will help you determine your shoulder’s range of motion and suggest exercises based on that.
  4. Visit an Acupuncturist. Acupuncture treatment focuses on reducing inflammation, improving blood flow and decreasing pain.  Studies have shown that acupuncture can be an excellent way to reduce shoulder pain.
  5. See a Chiropractor. Did you know that shoulder pain can be caused by a problem that’s not in the shoulder?! That’s right! The pain could be coming from the neck! Nerves controlling the shoulder come from the cervical (neck) spine. Stress in the cervical vertebrae can stop the shoulder nerves from working properly: it’s called a subluxation.Helping the shoulder may offer temporary relief, but until the cervical subluxations are removed by a chiropractor, the shoulder pain would continue to resurface. Schedule a visit with your chiropractor to see if your shoulder pain could be the cause of a spinal subluxation.

Living with shoulder pain? You don’t have to be. Book an appointment with our acupuncturist or one of our chiropractors to find shoulder pain relief. And don’t forget to pass this information to your family and friends!


Shoulder Pain on Arthritis & Osteoporosis NT
Fast Facts, Shoulder Problems by National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS)