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Protecting your Shoulders
Last review: 08/12/10  J.R. Rogers

For those who are regular readers of this chronicle know that I am a strong advocate of exercise for those who suffer from arthritis. The benefits are powerful and at the same time, you have to use a little caution. This is one instance when I say do not tackle the problem with exercise; at least, not right away.

Soreness in One or Both Shoulders

Our shoulders allow us to perform a lot of wonderful activities that we take for granted. A day-to-day activity as simple as reaching up to a high shelf or scratching our backs is made possible by our shoulders. Of course, we can perform a lot of pretty energetic athletic exercises thanks to these wonderful joints.

When We have a Sore Shoulder

I have heard so many people tell me that they regularly have soreness in their shoulders and don't know what to do. Most just try to struggle along and hope that soreness and discomfort will go away. This is one area of the body where rest is definitely in order for a few days. If you try to continue normal activities, the odds are good that you are going to make matters worse.

Rest and Slowly Pick up a Normal Pace Again

Given the complexity of a shoulder joint, it is easy to see why it should be dealt with carefully. After all, who needs surgery when there are simpler ways (normally) of dealing with pain. Rest the shoulder and try these simple therapies.

Ice it Up

An ice pack applied to a sore shoulder is definitely in order the first few days. As best you can and as your schedule permits, apply a cold pack directly to the affected area for twenty-minute intervals off and on again. Usually, we can't spend all day doing this but do your best and when the discomfort is at its worst, spend the time to ice it.

If you are using a liquid glucosamine supplement which contains all-natural anti-inflammatories, continue to do so. In most cases, this will eliminate the need to use any other kind of pain medication.

The Short-term Solution Usually Works

If shoulder pain or discomfort goes on for only a few days at a time, it is normally a "joint-related" discomfort. (If it goes longer than a week then you should call your doctor. Shoulder pain may indicate that it is being transferred from your spine, neck, liver and even your gall bladder. Fortunately, that is rare and normally it is just a little temporary joint pain.)

Bursitis and Tendonitis

The tendons and muscles of the rotator cuff are what hold the upper arm bone in the joint. The tendons and bursa (fluid filled sacs that surround the tendons) often become inflamed or swollen when they are pinched between the bones. Dislocation, cartilage damage, fracture and rotator cuff tearing also are factors.

Stretching for Healthy Shoulders

Even if you have some discomfort, try to continue to maintain at least minimal motion and exercise of the affected shoulder. Do some simple stretching to keep the joint limber (or, as limber as possible).

However, this should not be done during the first few days. Stay with at least 3-4 days of rest and icing; then once you begin to feel the discomfort diminishing, start a slow and simple routine of activity.

J.R. Rogers is the founder and President of Activex America, Inc. makers of Liquid Glucosamine Formula Syn-flex®