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4 Ways to Relieve Shoulder Pain at Home

4 Ways to Relieve Shoulder Pain at Home

Soreness, stiffness, and tenderness are some of the most common types of shoulder pain. Fortunately, patients can often remedy their own discomfort from the comfort of their own home. Below are six at-home remedies to help relieve shoulder pain. 

Take Anti-Inflammatory Medications

Designed to reduce inflammation, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) are a first choice for many patients with mild shoulder aches, swelling, and pain. Whether taken as needed or regularly as part of a daily routine, NSAIDS may be found over the counter or prescribed by a physician. However, patients with underlying conditions, such as high blood pressure, should consult a medical professional before treating shoulder pain with NSAIDS.  

Regularly Stretch the Shoulders 

Starting with a short warm-up session, a typical shoulder stretching routine includes multiple exercises designed to alleviate tension and build muscles, which helps to minimize injury or reinjury. In between each group of stretches, patients are often advised to take a periodic break of 10 to 30 seconds. Before undertaking any physical therapy or regular shoulder stretching routine to treat pain, however, patients should consult an orthopaedic specialist. 

Temporarily Apply Ice to the Area 

From cooling creams to homemade ice packs, cold temperatures may help to minimize swelling in the early stages post-injury. Filling a plastic or reusable bag with ice and wrapping it in a thin towel, for example, is an effective and time-efficient way to create a cold compress at home. Applying the towel-wrapped ice bag to the shoulder for up to 10 minutes may relieve mild shoulder pain. 

Try Introducing Heat to the Shoulder 

While extremely high heat can aggravate the skin, a warm shower, thermal gel, or heating pad may help to relax stiff, sore shoulders. When using heat in the form of a compress to relieve joint or muscle pain, however, it’s important that patients limit exposure to 10 minutes at a time. 

Still Experiencing Shoulder Pain? 

For cases of acute and mild shoulder pain, at-home treatments may be a highly effective treatment option. Patients with severe or chronic shoulder pain, however, should consult an orthopaedic specialist to better understand the cause of their discomfort and the potential courses of professional treatment. 

At Orthopaedic Associates of St. Augustine, our sports medicine specialists, physical therapists, and orthopaedists are dedicated to providing long-term comfort to our patients with shoulder pain. Specifically at our elbow and shoulder center, a range of treatments — from physical therapy to complete reconstruction — are available. Schedule an appointment today by completing our online request form or contacting the office at 904-825-0540.  


Dr. Volk, expert in ArthroscopyAlbert Volk, MD 
Board certifications in Orthopaedic Surgery and Sports Medicine. Dr. Volk specializes in an all-arthroscopic rotator cuff repair of the shoulder.