Many of us associate shoulder pain with poor sitting posture or sleeping position and ignore the fact that it will go away whenever it happens.
Leaving the pain carelessly is as harmful as the pain itself.
We spoke to experts at ETimes about why one feels pain in the neck and shoulders and what the medical conditions might be that can cause pain in this area. Experts suggest that lifestyle changes should be made to alleviate this type of pain.
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Common causes of neck and shoulder pain
Dr. Satnam Singh Chabra, Director, Department of Neurosurgery, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, says, “The most common causes of neck and shoulder pain are strain from sports, overwork and poor posture” and neck, shoulder, or back when they wake up. Mattresses, pillows and sleeping postures affect how much pressure a person exerts on their neck, shoulders and spine during sleep.
Excessive strain, dislocated shoulder, spinal cord injury and bone and cartilage damage due to arthritis also cause severe shoulder pain.
Dr Chabra also warned against carrying heavy bags or purses on his shoulders.
Frozen shoulders are also the main reason why many people experience severe shoulder pain and do not get any relief even after trying home remedies, experts say.
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What is a frozen shoulder? What are the symptoms?
A condition called frozen shoulder, or medically adhesive capsulitis, is characterized by stiffness with movement and pain in the shoulder joint. “It is more common in diabetic and post-traumatic stress disorder patients,” said Dr. Rajendra Reddy, Senior Orthopedic Consultant and Head of Orthopedics and Trauma, Narayana Multispeciality Hospital, HSR Layout, Bangalore.
“In this case, the lining of the joint covering the bones makes the capsule thicker, stiffer and swollen, causing glue and fibrosis, which reduces the space for movement of the humeral head in the joint and reduces the range of motion,” he said. Reddy said.
This painful condition develops slowly and progresses in three stages and each stage can last for several months, says Dr. Reddy. In the first stage, the movement of the shoulder is painful and the limitation of movement can be noticed in time; Pain in the upper arm and back of the shoulder is common. In the second stage the pain improves but the movement becomes more limited, stiff and it becomes more difficult to use. The pain also worsens at night and results in significant sleep disturbances which can lead to many cascading effects that negatively affect many elements of a person’s daily life including their relationships at home and at work. In the third stage, also known as fracture stage, the condition progresses to shoulder injury in people with other obstructive pathologies, such as bone spurs or tendinopathy, and complete recovery is never seen, experts say.
Which underlying disease can cause neck and shoulder pain?
Osteoarthritis, degenerative disc disease and rotator cuff disorder that surrounds the shoulder joint and helps keep it stable can cause shoulder pain because it can damage shoulder tissues, Dr. Chabra said.
When do you start taking shoulder and neck pain seriously?
In most cases, neck and shoulder pain can be a symptom of a more serious problem, but should be checked if the pain persists for more days, Dr. Chabra said. “If you have pain in your arm or hand with numbness or loss of strength, or if it persists for weeks without any relief, or if you have pain in your shoulder or lower arm, or if there is redness or swelling with shoulder pain, then you should see a doctor,” said Dr. Chabra. Suggested.
Pointing to the possibility of a heart attack due to shoulder pain, Dr. Chabra said, “Shoulder pain should be taken seriously if the pain subsides in the chest and there is difficulty in breathing which may be a sign of a heart attack or stroke.”
What are some of the lifestyle changes?
Lifestyle changes play an important role in managing shoulder pain, says Dr. Reddy. Foods rich in anti-inflammatory foods, such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and fatty fish, are known to support proteolytic enzymes and omega-3 fatty acids, where reducing carbohydrates and saturated trans fats can work wonders.
He recommends reducing one’s sedentary lifestyle and engaging in more physical activity.
“One should pay attention to one’s posture and sleeping position. Do not sleep on the affected side and always use a pillow under the affected hand while sleeping on the back, resting the hand on the abdomen,” said Dr. Reddy.
The self-medication that people often take when they are in pain, Dr. Reddy says, “If self-medication is not helpful in a few weeks, it may never be helpful. It is important to seek medical advice to prevent further damage and help speed recovery.”
Here are some common questions about neck and shoulder pain:
- What causes neck and shoulder pain?
Neck and shoulder pain are caused by sports, overwork, and poor posture, overwork, dislocated shoulders, spinal cord injuries, frozen shoulders, and bone and cartilage damage.
- When is shoulder pain severe?
One should consult a doctor when the pain is accompanied by numbness or loss of strength in the arm or hand or persists for several weeks or if there is shooting pain in the shoulder or arm or if there is redness or swelling with shoulder pain.
- How to cure shoulder pain?
Lifestyle changes can help cure pain. A diet rich in anti-inflammatory foods, reducing carbohydrates and saturated trans fats, reducing sedentary lifestyle, doing more physical activity and focusing on posture can cure pain.