September 9th, 2022

// Experiencing Shoulder Pain? How to Get Back to Training

Experiencing Shoulder Pain? How to Get Back to Training

A shoulder injury can feel like a major disruption to your fitness routine. With the right approach, however, you might be able to stay active, continue training, and even expedite the healing process. Here are just a few tips for getting back to normal after hurting your shoulder.

Identify the Problem

The first step to dealing with shoulder pain is figuring out what's wrong. This will determine the best treatment methods, your expected recovery time, and which exercises are safe to do while your shoulder heals. Tendonitis, for example, is a simple injury that can be treated with the RICE method at home. The same goes for distal clavicular osteolysis or "weightlifter's shoulder." On the other hand, a rotator cuff tear might require steroids, physical therapy, or even surgery.

Change Your Workout Routine

You don't want to aggravate your injury by continuing the same routine that hurt you in the first place. Instead, look into movement substitutions or movement replacements for your usual exercises. Do pull-downs rather than pull-ups; do squeeze presses rather than bench presses. If you aren't sure how to lower the intensity of your usual fitness regimen, you can find exercise pyramids online that rank the difficulty of various tasks. They'll allow you to stay active while also keeping the pressure off your shoulder until it heals.

Look Into Orthopedic Treatment

Orthopedics is the branch of medicine dedicated to the musculoskeletal system, including bones and muscles. It's also interwoven with related areas such as nerves, ligaments, tendons, and joints. You might already be familiar with orthopedic doctors if you've ever sprained an ankle or had a flare-up of carpal tunnel, but they can also be consulted for shoulder pain. Depending on the specifics of what's wrong, treatments might range from chiropractic massage to stem cell injections.

Strengthen Your Shoulder Support

To prevent re-injury, it can help to strengthen both your shoulder and its surrounding muscles and joints. It's the same logic as building up your core to improve your overall bodily fitness. Good exercises for shoulder strength include lateral raises, standing scapular pinches, and internal and external rotations. You can also incorporate things like hand weights and resistance bands to slowly increase the difficulty of these exercises and to test your shoulder's stability during them.

You don't have to turn into a couch potato because of a bad shoulder. You can often continue training as long as you're smart, careful, and mindful of your limitations as you heal. Use these suggestions for finding normal again after a shoulder injury.

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Anita Ginsburg / Freelance Writer
anitaginsburg@gmail.comBio: Anita is a freelance writer from Denver, CO. She studied at Colorado State University, and now writes articles about health, business, family and finance. A mother of two, she enjoys traveling with her family whenever she isn't writing. You can follow her on Twitter @anitaginsburg.


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