Acupuncture and Other Natural Treatments for Shoulder Pain
There are many variations of "shoulder pain":
- Frozen Shoulder (it's suddenly difficult to move your arm up or back)
- Stiff Shoulders (muscular tension or instability from exercise, stress, or work)
- Shoulder Injury (rotator cuff tear, impingement of muscles, tendonitis, fracture)
- Chronic Shoulder Problems (arthritis, bursitis)
Whatever the underlying cause, there's a really good chance acupuncture will help.
You should be able to tell a difference within just a couple of treatments.
The teeny-tiny needles mostly go in your legs and arms.
Within about 5 minutes, the inflammation starts to reduce, mobility improves, and healing starts.
Other techniques we may use include cupping, moxa, gua sha, and natural supplements.
Home Care for Shoulder Tension and Pain
to Feel Better Faster
If you suspect a tear or have just come out of shoulder surgery, wait to do exercise until your doctor clears it.
For the rest of you, here's what to do if you are experiencing shoulder pain.
- Don't stop moving altogether.
- Move SLOW and CONSCIENTIOUSLY with your breath.
- Go within your current range (don't push it).
Moving too fast through exercise can cause further injury.
Trying to whip out as many chin-ups or push-ups as possible, straining your body, and not paying attention to form can hurt.
Doing a slow and conscientious chin-up or push-up can help you strengthen and heal. But you don't have to do chin-ups or push-ups if you don't want to!
First, let's focus on scapular engagement.
Lack of scapular engagement is the one of the reasons people end up with shoulder pain. (The other reasons are not moving it at all, or not paying attention to posture and form.)
To engage your scapulae, stand up, bring your hands by your side, palms facing forward.
Now picture that you're pinching your shoulder blades together behind your back. As if you're squeezing the juice out of an orange between your shoulder blades.
Keeping this sensation, slowly bring your arms up with your breath staying nice and slow. Try to breathe easily.
When you feel a slight stiffness through your arms or shoulders, pause the movement, keep breathing, readjust your shoulder blades, and continue.
About halfway up, you'll notice that you'll be unable to continue pinching your shoulder blades together. Now, what we do is focus on is keeping your shoulders away from your ears.
Come back down the same way you went up. Do this eight times per day.
Modifications: if you can't move your arms up without pain, stop where you feel the pain start, and breathe there. Then come back down and repeat.