Looking After Your Shoulder
If you have any sort of shoulder problem or have had shoulder surgery it is very important to know how to look after your shoulder. The following principles are important:-
Avoid heavy lifting especially away from your body. If your elbows are touching your side you are fairly safe. If they come away from your side you are in danger of hurting your shoulder. Lifting heavy objects out in front of you at shoulder height should be avoided.
If at all possible you should avoid activities that make your shoulder painful. Pain is nature’s way of alerting you that you are doing damage. “No pain, no gain” is NOT true for shoulders – if it hurts don’t do it! You may have to adjust your work or sport activities accordingly.
You may need to take some pain relieving medication if you have pain. Try paracetamol 2 tablets 4 times a day first. You can buy generic forms of this in packets of 100 very cheaply from your chemist. Panadol Osteo is also very good but a little more expensive. Anti-inflammatories are very effective but it is important to talk to your doctor – some people should not take anti-inflammatories. Your GP can prescribe forms of these medications that have fewer side effects. It is often useful to have short (1-2 week) courses of anti-inflammatories then stop them for a while. Other medications can be tried but you should avoid prolonged use of strong pain killers such as narcotics.
It is worth trying physio for your shoulder problems. Studies have shown definite benefits from physiotherapy. However it is important that this is done gently – as mentioned above, exercises that produce prolonged pain are not recommended.
Alternative forms of therapy (acupuncture, osteopathy, chiropractic treatment, diet supplements etc.) have not been scientifically proven. However many patients find relief with these forms of treatment- it is really up to you if you would like to try some form of alternative treatment. Be careful what you read on the internet – much of the information is incorrect.