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10 Remedies for Quick Relief From Shoulder Pain

A woman with a pain in her back is being helped by a doctor.


Shoulder pain can be a persistent obstacle, hindering daily life and limiting mobility. In this blog, we delve into the world of quick relief from shoulder pain, exploring effective remedies that go beyond the surface.

Discover the causes, types, and practical solutions, including the vital role of physical therapy, guiding you toward a life of comfort and improved mobility. Bid farewell to shoulder pain and welcome a new era of ease.

Common Causes Of Shoulder Pain

Understanding the roots of shoulder pain is the first step to relief. Here are the common causes, along with activities that can lead to them:

  1. Muscle Strain: Overexertion or incorrect lifting techniques, common in weightlifting or manual labor.
  2. Ligament Sprains: Sudden twists or impacts, often occurring in sports like basketball or during a fall.
  3. Rotator Cuff Injuries: Repetitive overhead motions, prevalent in activities like swimming or painting.
  4. Arthritis: Wear and tear over time, aggravated by activities that strain the joints, such as heavy lifting.
  5. Tendonitis: Repetitive movements in activities like tennis, golf, or jobs involving frequent overhead reaching.
  6. Bursitis: Repetitive motions or prolonged pressure, common in activities like gardening or carpentry.
  7. Frozen Shoulder: Lack of use due to injury or surgery, sometimes exacerbated by prolonged immobilization.
  8. Fractures: Accidents or falls, especially during activities like biking, skiing, or contact sports.
  9. Nerve Compression: Poor posture during activities like sitting at a desk or carrying heavy bags.
  10. Referred Pain: Activities that strain the neck, like extended periods of looking down at a screen.

How Do I Know What Type Of Shoulder Pain I Have?

A woman with a shoulder pain in a park.

Understanding the nature of your shoulder pain is crucial for effective relief. Here’s a detailed guide to help you identify the type of shoulder pain you may be experiencing:

Localized Pain

  • Description: Pain in a specific area of the shoulder.
  • Possible Causes: Muscle strain, ligament sprain, or localized inflammation.
  • Identifying Factors: Pinpoint the exact area where you feel pain and any specific movements that trigger it.

Radiating Pain

  • Description: Pain that travels from the shoulder to nearby areas.
  • Possible Causes: Nerve compression or referred pain from other areas.
  • Identifying Factors: Note if the pain extends down the arm or into the neck and is accompanied by tingling or numbness.

Sharp or Stabbing Pain

  • Description: Intense, acute pain with a stabbing sensation.
  • Possible Causes: Rotator cuff injury, bursitis, or nerve impingement.
  • Identifying Factors: Assess pain intensity, particularly during specific movements or activities.

Dull Ache or Throbbing Pain

  • Description: Persistent, low-grade pain.
  • Possible Causes: Chronic conditions like arthritis or prolonged muscle tension.
  • Identifying Factors: Note the duration and factors that exacerbate or alleviate the dull ache.

Pain During Specific Movements

  • Description: Pain triggered by certain actions or positions.
  • Possible Causes: Tendonitis, impingement, or muscle imbalances.
  • Identifying Factors: Document activities that consistently cause pain and their range of motion.

Pain with Joint Movement

  • Description: Pain associated with joint motion.
  • Possible Causes: Arthritis, joint inflammation, or cartilage issues.
  • Identifying Factors: Pay attention to discomfort during joint movements like reaching overhead or rotating the shoulder.

Nighttime Pain

  • Description: Increased pain during the night.
  • Possible Causes: Rotator cuff injuries, bursitis, or poor sleeping posture.
  • Identifying Factors: Consider if your pain intensifies or disturbs sleep, especially when lying on the affected side.

It’s also crucial to understand that numerous studies reveal changes in your shoulder, often associated with the natural aging process (even by the age of 45), rather than indicating damage.

The 10 Remedies For Quick Relief From Shoulder Pain

Let’s dive into a range of remedies for shoulder pain—from fundamental practices like rest to targeted solutions like massage therapy. These approaches provide a holistic strategy for quick relief.

These approaches offer a holistic strategy for quick comfort and mobility. Let’s delve into each remedy to reclaim that shoulder peak and enjoy swift relief.

  1. Rest: Exploring natural remedies for shoulder pain, such as rest and targeted exercises, can further contribute to effective recovery.
  2. Cold Compress: Applying a cold compress helps reduce inflammation and numbs the affected area.
  3. Heat Therapy: Heat therapy enhances blood flow and oxygen once the injury stabilizes and healing begins. Heat promotes gentle vibrations, aiding cell healing in the injured areas.
  4. Over-the-counter Pain Medications: Over-the-counter medications like aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen, known as NSAIDs, effectively alleviate pain and reduce inflammation.
  5. Gentle Shoulder Exercises: Engage in gentle exercises for shoulder pain to strengthen and stretch shoulder muscles. Consult a healthcare professional for suitable exercises tailored to your condition.
  6. Posture Correction: Poor posture contributes to shoulder pain. Simple adjustments to your sitting and standing posture can make a significant difference.
  7. Ergonomic Adjustments: Evaluate your workspace and daily activities. Ergonomic adjustments, such as proper chair height or keyboard placement, can prevent shoulder pain.
  8. Massage Therapy: Massage therapy, integrated with physical therapy improves blood circulation, reduces stiffness, and enhances mobility—critical elements in effectively treating shoulder aches.
  9. Topical Analgesics: Topical creams or patches containing analgesic properties can provide localized relief by numbing the skin and underlying tissues.
  10. Compression and Support: Compression sleeves or shoulder braces can support and alleviate strain, especially during physical activities.

When Do You Need Physical Therapy For Shoulder Pain?

A man getting a massage on his back.

Knowing when to seek the expertise of a physical therapist is crucial for comprehensive shoulder pain management. Here’s a list to guide you on when you might need physical therapy:

Persistent Pain: If your shoulder pain persists despite home remedies and over-the-counter medications, it’s time to consult a physical therapist.

Limited Range of Motion: Difficulty in moving your shoulder through its full range might indicate an underlying issue that requires the intervention of a physical therapist.

Recurring Shoulder Pain: If shoulder pain becomes a recurring issue, addressing the root cause through physical therapy can prevent further episodes.

Post-Surgery Rehabilitation: After shoulder surgery, physical therapy is often a vital component of the recovery process, aiding in restoring strength and mobility.

Injury Recovery: If you’ve experienced a shoulder injury, seeking physical therapy can facilitate a structured recovery plan, preventing long-term issues.

To identify the cause of pain and formulate the best treatment plan, a doctor may conduct an X-ray, ultrasound scan, or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan.

Can Relief A Pain Reliever Medicine Alleviate Shoulder Pain?

Exploring the effectiveness of pain reliever medicines in managing shoulder pain is essential. Here’s a brief overview:

  • Types of Pain Relievers: Over-the-counter medications, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen, are commonly used to alleviate shoulder pain. If you’re wondering what is the best painkiller for shoulder pain, consulting with a healthcare professional can provide personalized guidance tailored to your specific needs.
  • Reducing Inflammation: These medications reduce inflammation, a common cause of shoulder discomfort.
  • Managing Pain: Pain relievers address the symptoms and manage the pain, making day-to-day activities more manageable.
  • Short-Term Relief: While effective for short-term relief, it’s essential to consult a healthcare professional for persistent or worsening shoulder pain. However, exploring how to help shoulder pain at home through self-care practices and natural remedies can complement professional guidance and contribute to overall recovery.


By paying close attention to the characteristics and triggers of your shoulder pain, you can better communicate with healthcare professionals and tailor your approach to find effective and targeted relief.

If the pain persists or worsens, it’s best to seek professional advice, especially from specialists like Peak Endurance Performance & Physical Therapy, which is essential for a precise diagnosis and appropriate treatment plan. This dedicated approach ensures that your shoulder health is in the hands of experts who understand the nuanced nature of pain and can provide tailored solutions for optimal recovery.