Here we are, at the end of 2020 and in the depth of the holiday season! How can you not love all the festivities that come along with the holidays!?
Well, if you’re suffering from shoulder pain, all the presents, treats, and blinking lights in the world won’t matter much until you find shoulder pain relief!
This article will discuss some of the common culprits we see responsible for shoulder pain over the holiday season. Learn how you can best prevent those pains from occurring.
Aggravating Your Shoulders
When people talk about shoulder pain, they are referring to the joints, tendons, muscles, and tissues within the shoulder that must all be working together for comfortable mobility. If someone is experiencing shoulder pain, it means that there is one or malfunction happening in the shoulder joint area.
So what activities happen during the holiday season that can cause shoulder pain? There are plenty of annual festive activities that can aggravate the shoulder joint.
Holiday-Associated Shoulder Pain
It may seem like a plot device from a bad Christmas movie, but many people aggravate their shoulders or injure their shoulders from decorating for the holidays. If you think about it, holiday decorating actually puts a lot of strain on your upper body and specifically your shoulders!
Hanging up Christmas lights around the home’s interior and exterior can take many man-hours, most of which involve homeowners with their arms raised above their heads. This motion of extending out your arms with items in your hands can aggravate the rotator cuff, tendons, and cartilage in your shoulder joint after many hours.
We see similar shoulder injuries and aggravation from the same movement, but rather than hanging Christmas lights and putting the star on top of the tree; the injury occurs from weight training at the gym or lifting heavy items around the house.
Not that we get too much snow to speak of in Texas, people in colder weather states will aggravate their shoulders and backs from shoveling heavy snow during the winter season – the winter can be hazardous for your body.
Different Types of Shoulder Issues
There are many different types of physical issues that can happen within the shoulder. But, one of the most common is tendinitis. Your tendons connect muscle to bone, and tendonitis occurs when repeat motion and stress on the shoulder joint cause the tendons to inflame.
Tendinitis from hanging up Christmas lights or decorating the home interior would be considered acute tendinitis, not chronic because it didn’t occur from degenerative diseases.
- Subacromial Bursitis
Subacromial bursitis, or bursitis as it’s usually called, is an inflammation of the fluid-filled sacs located between bones and soft tissues throughout the body. Excessive use of the shoulder can lead to swelling between the shoulder cuff and the shoulder blade. Bursitis will often occur alongside rotator cuff pain and tendinitis within the shoulder.
- Tears and Fractures
A tear in the tendons can happen from an acute holiday injury, such as a sudden and violent jerk of the arm and shoulder when lifting objects above your head or contorting in a strange position. These rotator cuff and bicep tendon tears often happen with professional baseball or football players, but they can easily happen in an everyday scenario for non-athletes as well.
Fractures, broken bones in the shoulder most commonly involve the humerus (upper arm bone, but not very funny). A typical reason for fracture in the shoulder is falling from heights, or most commonly during the holiday, falling off a ladder. Fractures are not something that will be fixed overnight, but with the right physical therapy program, shoulder pain relief can be attained.
How To Prevent Shoulder Pain From Occurring
- Don’t Force Movement – Listen To Your Body
Most shoulder injuries and shoulder pain come from repetitive movements. Hanging lights and ornaments all day, lifting heavy boxes, or even painting a room. These repetitive movements put stress and strain on your shoulders. Listen to your body and take a break when your shoulders are tired or become achy. Do not push through the pain, it will only cause more pain later – give your shoulder incremental breaks during activity.
If you’re about to engage in movement that is hard on your shoulder, whether that’s hanging lights or working out, be sure to warm your shoulder. Keeping the muscles stretched, warm, and ready for an activity will decrease the likelihood of inflammation and irritation afterward.
- Keep An Active Lifestyle
Dormant muscles, tendons, ligaments, and cartilage are much more likely to endure injury during activity in people who live inactive lifestyles, rather than active ones. Being in good shape is one of the best preventative measures you can take to keep your shoulders and body injury-free.
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If You Are Suffering From Shoulder Pain
Shoulder pain is a terrible issue to have to plague your daily life, especially during the holidays. At Moss Rehabilitation Center, we work with our patients to develop a program unique to their pain that will prove the quickest and most effective shoulder pain relief.
Our one of a kind program, “The MAGICAL 5 Phase of Healing Process.” works to minimize pain, restore mobility, promote normal function and activity, maintain health, prevent further injury, and enhance performance.
If, like many Americans, you’ve found yourself dealing with nagging shoulder pain this holiday season, reach out to learn how you can have pain-free days ahead of you!