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Seventy Percent of Chronic Shoulder Pain: Causes and Solutions

Understanding Chronic Shoulder Pain

By willard BunzaPublished 15 days ago 5 min read


Chronic shoulder pain is a common issue that affects many individuals. In fact, approximately seventy percent of the shoulder pain cases that I come across are attributed to a disease that is known by various names, including Impingement Syndrome, Subacromial Bursitis, and Rotator Cuff Disease. Despite the different names, these conditions are essentially the same problem. In this blog post, I will provide an overview of these conditions and offer valuable tips to prevent shoulder pain and stiffness. Additionally, I will demonstrate fifteen effective exercises that can be done conveniently at home.

Understanding Chronic Shoulder Pain

If you know someone suffering from chronic shoulder pain, please share this blog with them. Individuals experiencing this condition often encounter pain that disrupts their sleep, especially when they roll onto the affected shoulder. They also experience discomfort during overhead activities, as well as while pushing and pulling objects. Lifting heavy loads becomes challenging, impacting daily activities such as work, dressing, and even putting on a shirt. The shoulder is an incredible ball-and-socket structure, enabling a wide range of motion, power, and speed. To maintain the stability of the shoulder joint, several tendons, ligaments, and muscles play vital roles. One crucial structure is the rotator cuff, which consists of muscles covering the humerus like a sleeve cuff. Between the bones, a bursa—a fluid-filled sac—acts as a cushion to minimize bone-on-bone impact. When the supraspinatus tendon becomes pinched during arm elevation, it is referred to as impingement syndrome. Inflammation of the bursa, known as bursitis, can also occur. The tendon may get irritated, damaged, partially torn, or completely torn, resulting in rotator cuff disease or injury. While rotator cuff disease is commonly observed in individuals over 40 years old, younger people, particularly those involved in sports like swimming, tennis, or baseball, can also be affected. The primary symptom is pain when the arm is elevated or when pressure is exerted on the tendon and bursa, especially at night.

Managing Shoulder Impingement and Reducing Pain

To alleviate pain and swelling caused by shoulder impingement, it is necessary to follow specific measures. Remember the acronym "Be-Ma-MeMoRSS" to recall these essential steps:

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Bed Positioning and Posture

Your sleeping position plays a significant role in managing shoulder pain. If you are a back sleeper, avoid raising your arms above your head. Instead, keep them alongside your body. Ensure that your pillow fills the space beneath your neck but is not placed under your shoulder. Side sleepers should refrain from sleeping on the painful side. However, individuals experiencing shoulder pain on both sides may find it challenging to find a comfortable position. In such cases, using an additional pillow to support the back and placing a third pillow in front can help prevent the upper shoulder from dropping forward.

Position at Work and Posture

Maintaining proper posture while working at a computer, watching TV, or engaging in crafts is crucial. Slouching can cause rounded shoulders and contribute to shoulder pain. As the shoulders become rounded, space for the cuff tendons is limited, potentially leading to tears or ruptures. The exercises I will demonstrate later in this post are excellent for correcting slouched posture.

Manual Therapy and Self-Massage

Manual therapy and self-massage (Ma) can provide relief by targeting tender points. Apply friction to these points and consider using a topical cream containing analgesics. You can also massage the muscles around the shoulder, such as the Trapezius, Latissimus, Pectoralis, and Deltoid muscles.


In some cases, medication may be prescribed to manage the pain and inflammation associated with chronic shoulder pain. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen or naproxen can help reduce pain and swelling. However, it is essential to consult with a healthcare professional before taking any medication to ensure it is suitable for you and to discuss potential side effects.

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Moist Heat and Ice

Moist heat and ice therapy (MeMo) can be effective in reducing pain and inflammation. Applying a warm compress or taking a warm shower can help relax the muscles and improve blood circulation. On the other hand, ice packs or cold compresses can help numb the area and reduce swelling. Alternate between heat and ice therapy for optimal results.

Rest and Modification of Activities

Rest is crucial for allowing the injured shoulder to heal. Avoid activities that worsen the pain or put excessive strain on the shoulder joint. If certain movements or exercises exacerbate the pain, modify or avoid them until the pain subsides.

Stretching and Strengthening Exercises

Performing specific stretching and strengthening exercises (RSS) can help improve shoulder mobility, reduce pain, and prevent future injuries. These exercises focus on stretching the tight muscles and strengthening the weakened muscles around the shoulder joint. I will demonstrate fifteen effective exercises later in this post that you can incorporate into your daily routine.

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Seeking Professional Help

If your shoulder pain persists or worsens despite home remedies and exercises, it is advisable to seek professional help. A healthcare professional, such as a physical therapist or orthopedic specialist, can provide a comprehensive evaluation of your condition and recommend appropriate treatment options. They may suggest additional therapies such as ultrasound, electrical stimulation, or corticosteroid injections, depending on the severity of your condition.


Chronic shoulder pain caused by impingement syndrome, subacromial bursitis, or rotator cuff disease can significantly impact your daily life. By following the Be-Ma-MeMoRSS approach, which includes proper bed positioning, maintaining good posture, manual therapy and self-massage, medication if necessary, moist heat and ice therapy, rest and modification of activities, and performing stretching and strengthening exercises, you can effectively manage and reduce shoulder pain.

Remember, it is crucial to consult with a healthcare professional to receive an accurate diagnosis and personalized treatment plan. The exercises I will demonstrate in the upcoming section can be beneficial, but it's essential to perform them correctly and avoid overexertion or improper form. Take care of your shoulder health and prioritize self-care to alleviate pain, improve mobility, and enhance your overall quality of life.

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About the Creator

willard Bunza

"Captivating storyteller weaving magic, taking readers on unforgettable journeys. Prepare to be spellbound by Willard Bunza's vivid imagination and artful prose. Unleash your curiosity and embark on a literary adventure like no other."

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