Shoulder pain is common and can have many physical causes. Regardless of the cause and assuming there is no significant pathology, the following self-management tips may reduce the severity and frequency of shoulder pain.
1. Avoid movements or positions which significantly aggravate the pain. Generally, it is important to keep moving using movements that either reduce or have no effect on the pain; some discomfort is okay as long as it is manageable and eases shortly after moving.
2. Avoid repeatedly ‘testing’ the shoulder to see if it is still painful by moving or stretching the painful area in an overtly provocative way.
3. If very sore, use the shoulder within the ‘safe zone’. The safe zone is forwards and sidewards movements, keeping the elbow bent and below shoulder height. Moving within the safe zone minimises the stress on the rotator cuff and surrounding structures, shoulder capsule and muscles.