10 Tips to Get Relief from Shoulder Pain

By Med-Fit UK Content Team  .  Last Updated Monday, 10th July 2023

Shoulder pain can arise due to various factors. It may be triggered by injuries or dislocations, or it can be a manifestation of pain originating from another part of the body, known as referred pain. Additionally, shoulder pain can be caused by conditions such as torncartilage, arthritis, or a damaged rotator cuff. Understanding the symptoms associated with shoulder pain and exploring ways to alleviate it is essential. By familiarizing ourselves with the signs and discomfort related to this condition, we can better manage and find relief from shoulder pain.

Symptoms of Shoulder Pain:

  • Weakness

  • Numbness

  • Swelling

  • Coolness

  • Change in Colour

  • Deformity

What causes Shoulder Pain?:

  • Fracture: You get a fracture when your bone cracks or breaks. This can be a result of a hard hit or accidental fall.
    If your collarbone breaks, your shoulder gets weak, and you cannot lift your arm.

  • Dislocation: During an accident, if your shoulder gets rotated or pulled back, it may affect the top of your arm.
    It shifts out of its socket, making you feel weak and pain in your shoulder. This can cause numbness and swelling.

  • Separation: This injury adversely affects the acromioclavicular (AC) joint. This joint is located where your shoulder blade and collarbone come together.
    If your collarbone dislocates, you will get a bump or swelling on the top of your shoulder.

  • Rotator Cuff Tear: A rotator cuff is a group of tendons and muscles in your shoulder. It keeps your arms in place and lets you do the lifting movements. It tears due to fall, injury, or overuse.
    Your shoulder may hurt when you lift things. Also, this begins to wear and tear with age.

  • Frozen Shoulder: This is common after a surgery or injury. This condition limits the motion of your joints.
    Your shoulder freezes (cannot move) and you need adhesions to build the tissues and get your shoulder back to motion.

    Symptoms of Shoulder and Neck Pain:

    Mentioned below are a few signs and symptoms that will help you gain a better understanding of neck or shoulder pain. Traits help gauge the intensity of the pain and the urgency to treat it.

    You may experience difficulty in moving your neck in all angles. Our necks are supposed to turn up to 180 degrees which are not possible when there is some problem about the neck or shoulders.

    • Not being able to look in a particular direction for too long as your neck might start hurting
    • Frequent headaches as a result of stress that is experienced by the body because of neck pain
    • Stiffness of the local muscles which is especially evident in cases of shoulder pain
    • Frequent spasms or pulls as muscles are weakened by illness
    • The pain might start radiating towards your hands as well in severe cases 

    How to relieve Shoulder Pain:

    A plethora of options is available to find a long term or immediate relief. Below is a detailed and elaborate list of all the things you could try to feel better

    Physical Therapy:

    Such therapy should be done under professional supervision and regularly. Some methods of physical therapy are:

    1. TENS/EMS: The Transcutaneous electric nerve stimulator (TENS) is a small device that has various electrodes that send electrical impulses to the body. Different levels of intensity can be adjusted. The pulses block the pain signals from reaching the brain and also widen the blood vessels increasing the blood flow in that region. The electronic muscle stimulator works on muscle stimulation in a local area. In cases of muscle cramps or spasms in the neck region, EMS works wonders. Tens Machine for Shoulder Pain are a popular go to if you're considering this option.
    2. Cervical Traction: A device that exercises your neck, cervical traction devices help people with conditions like cervical radiculopathy or arthritis. It is a physical therapy that gently stretches like neck resulting in reducing the pressure in that area. It also creates a gap where the nerves have been pinched. Your neck will surely not feel like stiffness like before as it relaxes the joints and muscles near the neck region. Conditions like herniated disc, strain in the neck, muscle spasms have found relief in such therapy.
    3. Back & Shoulder Massage: The Med-Fit back massager can help relieve shoulder pain with a tough massage around your neck and upper back, additionally you can move the massager around your upper back to find the perfect placement.

    Yoga Poses:

    Spending half an hour of your day to do some yoga could give you a long-lasting relief from neck and shoulder pain. Here are a few poses you could give a try:

    1. Scapula Slide: One of the most effective ways to reduce shoulder pain. The scapula slide needs you to lie on your front and get up such that your hands are right below your shoulder. With a slow movement, broaden your shoulder blades and slide from one side to another. This relaxes the scapula and enables natural movement.
    2. Neck Retractions: The perfect yoga poses to fix the bad posture that most people have, neck retractions is easy to perform. It would help if you pulled your neck back softy while making sure that your chin is parallel to the ground. Doing this about ten times a day will give you a better stance while texting or working.
    3. Child’s Pose: This pose requires you to sit comfortably on your knees and stretch your hands in front of you as you move forward. Rest your head on your hands and focus on where you feel the stress in your neck or shoulders. This pose is extremely comfortable and relieves tension.
    4. Cow and Cat Pose: Staying on all fours, move your stomach towards the floor as you inhale and towards the ceiling as you exhale. As you exhale, push your head upwards. The cow and cat pose should be done slowly while being aware of the position that you are in for a few seconds.
    5. Dolphin Pose: Going down on all the four, slowly move your knees away from the floor after your curl your toes in. Your back should be well aligned, and the spine should be straight. As you hold the pose for a few seconds, the spine gets stretched and relaxed, relieving shoulder and neck pain.


    1. A gentle, soothing massage will cure you of all your pain. Massages are a great way to alleviate stress. They are done with healing oils and natural extractions that will relax your body. Massages also remove any knots that are present in the shoulders. Regular massages from an experienced masseuse will surely reduce your pain.

    Stretch Your Neck & Shoulder:

    1. Bridge: Lying on your back, move your pelvis upwards such that your knees are bent. Your shoulders need to be on the floor, and your hands should be on the floor. The pose stretches your spine and relaxes your neck. 
    2. Seated Heart Opener: This pose requires you to sit on your knees, and place your hands behind you comfortably such that you are doing a backbend. It stretches the spine and makes you flexible.
    3. Seated Neck Release: Seat yourself comfortably on the floor and stretch your neck to the right using your left hand and vice-versa. This will make your throats more mobile.
    4. Behind the Back Neck Stretch: Reach out and hold both of your hands behind your back. Using your left arm straighten your right arm and repeat the same with the other side. Bend your neck slightly to the right and left, depending on which side you are stretching.
    5. Seated Clasping Neck Stretch: Clasp your hands behind your neck and gently raise your elbows. Make sure that while stretching, you do not move your spine. This causes a stretch in the neck if appropriately done throughout the day.

    Pain Killer Medication:

    You can either visit your doctor or buy over the counter painkillers that will help you get rid of shoulder or neck pain. It is always better to consult a doctor before taking medication as it is safer. Some pain killers also act as muscle relaxants and give you the desired result.

    Change the Sleeping Pose:

    One of the most significant inconveniences caused by neck pain is an unfortunate sleeping position. Most people are unaware of the cause of their neck pain as they do not consider the posture they sleep in.

    1. Use Lots of Pillows: Make sure that your neck is supported correctly all through the night regardless of which angle you sleep in. Cushions that are higher under your neck and lower under your head are typically ideal. Make use of pillows to support your shoulders as well.

    Home Remedies:

    When everything else fails, make use of a few home remedies that will make you feel better. If you do not have the time to do the other methods, home remedies can be a last resort.

    1. Hot and Cold Therapy: Using these therapies separately will make you feel better. Hot packs, ice packs can be used simultaneously as well. Ice reduces swelling and inflammation, while heat gives a soothing feeling. Depending on the type of pain you experience, heat or cold therapy should be used. Whenever you are alternating between the two, it is important to alternate between the two treatments as too much heat or cold can increase the pain. We have a number of gels and rolls on's that can assist with this type of treatment.

    How to sleep with Shoulder Pain

    You might encounter difficulty achieving a restful night's sleep if you experience shoulder pain or soreness. However, there are simple adjustments you can make to your sleeping position to alleviate shoulder pain. Consider the following recommendations:

    • Switch sides: If you prefer sleeping on your side, consider switching to the side that doesn't cause you pain. For example, if your right shoulder is affected, try sleeping on your left side instead.

    • Keep your arms by your side: You may have to refrain from raising your arm above your head while lying down, as this position can exert excessive stress on the sore shoulder.

    • Sleep on your stomach: Not the most comfortable of positions for some, however the prone position naturally rolls your shoulders forward, relieving them of weight and potentially easing shoulder blade pain.

    • Avoid sleeping on one side and instead try lying on your back: This change in position can help reduce pressure on the affected shoulder.

    Preventing Shoulder Pain during Sleep

    The actions you take during your waking hours can significantly impact the quality of your sleep. To minimize shoulder pain while sleeping, consider implementing these steps throughout the day:

    • Schedule regular check-ups: Make it a habit to discuss any shoulder pain with your healthcare provider during routine visits. This proactive approach can help prevent minor issues from worsening.
    • Avoid overexertion: When participating in work or sports activities, be mindful not to push your shoulders beyond their limits. Take regular breaks and listen to your body's signals to prevent overuse and strain.
    • Seek assistance when lifting: Never attempt to lift heavy objects on your own. Instead, enlist the help of a partner, friend, or co-worker. Sharing the load can significantly reduce the risk of shoulder injury.
    • Stay physically active: Engage in regular, moderate exercise to maintain flexibility and strength in your shoulders. This can contribute to better overall shoulder health.

    How do Health Care Professionals Diagnose Shoulder and Neck Pain?

    Seeking professional help for pain relief is the safest option there is. There are different methods by which doctors diagnose a patient. It helps them understand and find a reason so that a suitable solution can be given. Some of these are:

    • X-rays: In cases where a patient has arthritis or similar conditions, X- rays are taken to understand the situation of the bones
    • Myelogram: A coloured dye is sent through the spine to view its status and check if there is any problem near the discs, spinal canal and more
    • MRI and CT Scan: A CT Scan uses images from different angles to get a better picture of the bones. An MRI uses no radiation, unlike CT. It uses radio waves and gives a clear picture of the soft tissues and bones
    • Bone Scan: This also uses radiation and detects places where there is maximum usage of the bone in the body.
    • Electrodiagnostic Testing: checks the electrical activity in the nerves and it is followed by an electromyogram which tests the movement of the muscle

    Once you have visited the doctor, one or more of the above tests might be performed on you to understand the problem better.