Managing Arthritis - Treatment for Shoulder Pain

Managing Arthritis - Treatment for Shoulder Pain

Shoulder arthritis is a medical condition that results in pain, stiffness, and reduced mobility in the shoulder joint. It is primarily caused by the gradual deterioration of the cartilage within the joint, but may also be caused by an injury, infection, or other underlying medical conditions.

As the condition progresses, it can severely impact an individual's ability to perform daily tasks, making early diagnosis and treatment crucial.

There are two main types of shoulder arthritis:

  • Osteoarthritis: This is the most common type of shoulder arthritis. It occurs when the cartilage that cushions the bones in the joint wears away. This can happen due to age, injury, or overuse.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis: This chronic inflammatory condition can affect any joint in the body. It is caused by the body's immune system attacking the joints.

Symptoms of shoulder arthritis

The symptoms of shoulder arthritis can vary depending on the type of arthritis and the severity of the condition. However, some common symptoms include:

  • Pain: This is the most common symptom of shoulder arthritis. The pain can be constant or intermittent and can worsen with activity.
  • Stiffness: The shoulder may become stiff and difficult to move.
  • Weakness: The shoulder may become weak, and lifting the arm may not be easy.
  • Crepitus is a grating or popping sound that may be heard when the shoulder is moved.
  • Inflammation: The shoulder may become red, swollen, and warm to the touch.

Treatment for Shoulder Pain

You are not alone if you have ever experienced pain or stiffness in your shoulders. Many individuals suffer from this condition as they age, which can be debilitating in extreme cases. Surgery is one treatment option available for shoulder arthritis. Still, several home remedies are much safer to use. 

Treatment for shoulder arthritis depends on the severity of the condition. In some cases, conservative treatments, such as rest, ice, physical therapy, and over-the-counter pain medication, may be enough to effectively reduce inflammation & pain and help improve your range of motion to relieve the discomfort caused by shoulder arthritis symptoms.

In other cases, surgery may be necessary to repair the damage to the joint.

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 of 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 shoulder's 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, cold therapy helps to reduce inflammation and swelling - which is ultimately what causes most shoulder pain.

Regular cold packs can complement other treatment options, including physical therapy sessions or medication, by helping relieve pain faster and aiding recovery. You should apply the pack in twenty-minute intervals two to three times daily for better relief overall.

Our Top Pick
Double sided hot and cold therapy pad

    SACKSY THYME Cold Therapy pack for Managing Shoulder Pain:

    The Sacksy Thyme cold therapy pack is made of high-quality materials that are durable and soft to the touch. It conforms to the shape of your shoulder for a comfortable fit that maximizes contact between the cold pack and your skin. It can be frozen and applied to your shoulder for effective pain and inflammation relief.


    Heat for Circulation

    Heat is also another nonsurgical treatment that can be done in the comfort of your home. If you want to try out heat, finding something that heats up quickly and penetrates deep into your shoulder tissues, such as a microwavable heating pad or warm towel, is best.

    Using heat to improve blood flow can help soothe the soreness accompanying shoulder arthritis but should not be used too long because it can cause burns due to increased sensitivity. However, this may work for you if you don't sleep with the heating pad on.

    Our Top Pick
    The Original Sack hot and cold therapy pad

      Sacksy Thyme Microwavable Heat therapy for Managing Shoulder Pain:

      The Sacksy Thyme Microwavable heat therapy pad is effective for managing shoulder pain due to its high-quality materials that can retain heat for a long time. Heat therapy works by increasing blood flow to the affected area and reducing inflammation.

      Essential oils

      Essential oils are natural oils extracted from plants. They have been used for centuries for their medicinal properties. Some essential oils have been shown to have anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties, which may help relieve pain and inflammation associated with shoulder arthritis.

      Here are some essential oils that may help treat shoulder arthritis pain:

    • Lavender: Lavender is a well-known essential oil for its calming and relaxing properties. It may also help to reduce inflammation and pain.
    • Peppermint: Peppermint is another essential oil that has anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. It may help relieve pain and inflammation in the shoulder.
    • Eucalyptus: Eucalyptus is a warming essential oil that may help to relieve pain and inflammation. It may also help to clear congestion, which can be helpful for people with arthritis who have respiratory problems.
    • It is important to note that essential oils should not be used directly on the skin without a carrier oil. Carrier oils help to dilute the essential oil and prevent it from irritating the skin.

      If you are considering using essential oils for shoulder arthritis, you must talk to your doctor first. They can help you choose the right essential oils for your specific needs and ensure that you use them safely.

      Here are some tips for using essential oils for shoulder arthritis pain:

      • Start with some essential oil and gradually increase it as needed.
      • Test the essential oil on a small skin area before using it on a larger area.
      • If you experience any irritation, discontinue the use of the essential oil.
      • Keep essential oils out of reach of children and pets.

      It is also important to remember that essential oils do not cure shoulder arthritis. They can be a helpful addition to other treatments, such as physical therapy and medication, but they should not be used as a substitute for medical advice.

      If you are experiencing pain or other symptoms of shoulder arthritis, seeing a doctor for diagnosis and treatment is important. With proper treatment, most people with shoulder arthritis can manage their pain and improve their function.

      Compression with Bracing

      If you have shoulder arthritis, a brace can provide relief in more ways than one. The shoulder brace will reduce unnecessary joint stress 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 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. Nonsteroidal 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, speaking with your doctor before starting any new medication is always a good idea.


      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 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. Like 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 your range of motion. It is possible to experience 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:


      Currently, 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.

    • 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, reducing 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 before settling on a course of action depending on the severity of your condition and how much it affects how you live your daily life.

      Here are some additional things you need to know about shoulder arthritis:

      • Shoulder arthritis is more common in people over the age of 50.
      •  Women are more likely to develop shoulder arthritis than men.
      •  People with a shoulder injury or surgery are more likely to develop arthritis.
      •  People who participate in activities that stress the shoulders, such as overhead sports, are also more likely to develop shoulder arthritis.

      How to prevent shoulder arthritis?

    • There are a few things you can do to help prevent shoulder arthritis, including:

      • Warm up before participating in sports or activities that involve using your shoulders.
      • Use proper technique when lifting weights or other activities that could stress your shoulders.
      • Strengthen the muscles around your shoulders.
      • Wear a shoulder brace if you are at high risk for shoulder arthritis.

      If you have any concerns about shoulder arthritis, talk to your doctor. They can help you assess your injury risk and develop a plan to prevent shoulder arthritis.

      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 you follow the best treatment plan for your situation and what you can do to alleviate the bare minimum discomfort!

    • Back to blog

      Leave a comment

      Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.