Managing Arthritis - Treatment for Shoulder Pain

Managing Arthritis - Treatment for Shoulder Pain

If you have ever experienced pain or stiffness in your shoulders, you are not alone. Many individuals suffer from this condition as they age, and it can be debilitating in extreme cases. Surgery is one treatment option available for shoulder arthritis. Still, several home remedies are much safer to use. They can effectively reduce inflammation and pain and help improve your range of motion to relieve the discomfort caused by shoulder arthritis symptoms.

Managing Pain Symptoms

There are a lot of different kinds of arthritis, and for many people, the pain associated with this condition can be so intense that some those patients will choose to undergo surgery. It is fine, but it's also important not to ignore the possible causes of your shoulder arthritis. Among those causes are rheumatoid or polymyalgia rheumatica, so you shouldn't just go ahead and get that operation even if it sounds like a great solution to your problem. There are many other options available first, such as using natural treatment options to treat symptoms by grinding down painful knots or nodules under the shoulders skin where tendons crisscross through bursae that act as cushions between tissues.

Cold Therapy Application

The cold therapy sack is an easy but effective way to manage shoulder pain. First, the sensation of a cold pack gently placed upon your shoulder will distract you from the pain because it magnifies its effects. Second, the cold therapy helps to reduce inflammation and swelling - which is ultimately what causes most shoulder pain. Using an cold pack regularly can complement other treatment options, including physical therapy sessions or medication, by helping to relieve pain faster and aiding your recovery. You should apply the pack in twenty-minute intervals two to three times daily for better relief overall.

Heat for Circulation

Heat is also another nonsurgical treatment that can be done in the comfort of your home. If you are interested in trying out heat, it is best to find something that heats up quickly and will penetrate deep into your shoulder tissues, such as a microwavable heating pad or warm towel. Using heat to improve blood flow can help with soothing the soreness that accompanies shoulder arthritis but should not be used for too long because it can cause burns due to increased sensitivity. However, if you don't sleep with the heating pad on, this may work for you.

Compression with Bracing

If you have shoulder arthritis, a brace can provide relief in more ways than one. The shoulder brace will reduce unnecessary stress on the joints by stabilizing your shoulder, thus reducing pain and inflammation by offloading it away from the injured area. The bracing material and compression will reduce swelling, which results in less pain overall. While a brace won't cure an existing case of arthritis in your shoulder joints, it can help manage some of the discomforts, allowing you to enjoy your time spent elsewhere!


There are several medications on the market aimed at treating arthritis. Prescription medicines will be used based on the type of arthritis and severity, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or over-the-counter pain reducers like Tylenol are often among them. But acetaminophen (Tylenol) is another effective over-the-counter pain reliever with less chance of causing severe side effects than NSAIDs, so it's always a good idea to speak with your doctor before starting any new medication.


Getting a massage is one of the best ways to alleviate pain and muscle stiffness. You can perform self-massage at home or visit a professional massage therapist for treatment. Massage therapy works by increasing your blood flow to the area that needs it most and relieving inflammation, which is often caused by arthritis. When receiving a massage from a professional therapist, consider using a massage cane to help those hard-to-reach areas!

Shoulder Exercises

Arthritis pain requires several modalities to be managed appropriately. Similar to recovering from other shoulder injuries, such as a rotator cuff tear or impingement, incorporating exercises into your treatment plan will reduce stiffness and help retain range of motion. It is possible to experience some discomfort during these exercises; however, one should not push through severe pain for their health. Making an appointment at your local physical therapy office for professional assistance in performing shoulder exercises is essential in improving recovery time and getting you back on the job!

Lifestyle Changes

Dealing with chronic pain is a complex process. Sometimes there are certain activities, hobbies, or movements we must avoid or not do as much when dealing with a bad shoulder condition like arthritis. Still, these limitations can often be overcome by alternative means. We have listed several tips for you to try below:


As of now, there is no specific diet to help prevent or alleviate arthritis. However, eating healthy foods and avoiding saturated fats and processed foods can help lower inflammation in the body. There is a new style of eating that physicians recommend gaining popularity known as the Mediterranean diet, which encourages fish, beans, vegetables, fruits, and nuts. This way of eating has been shown to reduce inflammation in the body and may assist with weight loss causing less stress on your joints.

Sleeping posture

When you suffer from shoulder arthritis, the best way to relieve your pain and still get to rest is by sleeping on your back. Placing a pillow under your knees will help keep the natural curvature of your spine in check, which should reduce any pain you feel in your shoulders. Sleeping on your side or stomach should be avoided because these positions can put added pressure and stress on already painful joints like yours!


Dietary supplements may be another treatment option for people with osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis in the shoulder. Glucosamine and chondroitin may help with pain and stiffness, mainly used with other arthritis treatments. Other dietary supplements like fish oil, s-adenosyl-methionine (SAM-e), and curcumin may also help manage symptoms of arthritis.

Supplements aren't for everyone. You have to consult with your doctor before taking them because you might have certain conditions that prevent you from consuming particular supplements.

Check with your physician first before settling on a course of action depending on the severity of your condition and how much it affects the way that you live your daily life.

Decreasing Pain & Flare-Ups

Shoulder arthritis is a condition that causes pain and stiffness and can significantly interfere with your daily life. Initiating treatments to help loosen up the shoulder joint space, like exercising and massage, will assist you in keeping movement in check. Ice packs, heat packs, and medication will also help lessen any pain associated with this condition. Always talk to your doctor to ensure that you follow the best treatment plan for your situation and what you can do to alleviate the bare minimum discomfort!

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