How to Effectively Relieve Shoulder and Wrist Pain

An image of a wrist in pain with laptop on the background and an Xray image of Shoulder bones

Are you suffering from shoulder or wrist pain? Are you getting relief from pain killers but are still not fully satisfied with the results? How do you relieve the pressure and pain in your shoulders and wrists? Shoulder and wrist discomfort is up there with those common complaints among my clients. Some people on a daily basis never get to experience shoulder or wrist pain others with bad conditions suffer from extreme pain during the course of their daily activities. When you’re involved in physical activity, your muscles may be overused or misused causing sharp pains that radiate down your arm. Shoulder and wrist pain can also result from an accident or simply from stress. Fortunately, there are several effective ways to reduce your pain and get back to normal as quickly as possible.

Types of Shoulder and Wrist Pain

There are several types of shoulder and wrist pains, as well as the specific pain associated with each type. 

  • Dislocated Shoulder – This occurs when the humerus (the “arm bone”) comes out of the shoulder socket. However nasty this sounds, most people with a dislocated shoulder have very little actual pain. The pain occurs when the rapid dislocation occurs and that is to the muscles, ligaments and nerves that are stretched/torn in the incident. If you do have a dislocation you will notice the pain when movement is attempted. Surgical repair is the only proven treatment. 
  • Degenerative Shoulder – This is the most common type of shoulder pain. It is caused by degeneration, which is the normal ageing process of the joints. As joints become less flexible, they tend to wear down and harden. This, in turn, can lead to shoulder pain. Surgical repair is the only proven treatment. 
  • Rib Popping – This is the result of overuse or repetitive movement. It may occur due to an over stretched or damaged muscle. It is often accompanied by sharp, shooting pain. It is often painful and can last from days to weeks. Movement of the torso on any rib attachment will be painful till the rib cartilage repairs. 
  • Rib Fracture – This occurs when a rib snaps or is dislocated. In between each rib is its associated intercostal nerve, the artery and veins that supply blood supply to the area. The ribs are designed to guard organs beneath and the thoracic cavity has a variety of structures. It is usually accompanied by a sudden, shooting pain. 
  • Tendinopathy – Tendons, which are rope-like tissue that connect your bones and muscles. It can occur when you overuse or injure a tendon. Tendinopathy can be chronic but your symptoms will improve with physical therapy and rest.
  • Rotator cuff tears – Adults who experience shoulder pain and disability commonly develop this. Your shoulder could become weak if your rotator cuff is torn. The supraspinatus tendon suffers the majority of injuries, however the rotator cuff may also be affected. Fraying is frequently the first sign of damaged tendons. The tendon may totally tear and worsens when carrying a big object. As a result, doing numerous daily chores combing your hair or getting dressed may become uncomfortable and challenging.

Tight scapular or Frozen Shoulder

Many of my clients have tight scapulars that don’t move very well, and they complain of shoulder pain and or neck pain and often the culprit is the subscapularis the muscle underneath the scapula, and also the serratus posterior, they flatten or wing our scapulars.

So an effective way to reduce this pain is to use  a myofascial release technique.

Let me show you the things I do

  • Get a stretch of the muscle and the overlying fascia.
  • Bring their arms straight up to about 90 degrees and then bring the arms in whilst we pin the scapulars.
  • Use a towel because your fingers under their armpits is not a very comfortable position.
  • Find that lateral border of the scapula, pin down and backwards.
  • Bring your arms up forward.
  • Encourage your patient to get them to about 90 degrees, and then elbows straight,and what they should feel is a slight stretch.
  • Bring the hands in together, elbows in together.
  • So your client is actively doing the Myofascial work. It’s not an indirect technique. It’s a direct technique.

Carpal tunnel with Myofascial Release

Carpal tunnel is a condition that can affect anyone, but is more common in people over 50. The sensation in the hand and finger joints is like having a tight band around the hand. This annoying, aggravating pain that travels down into the hand and wrist is at some point both neural as well as muscular.

Let me show you the things I do

  • Ask your patient to squeeze your fingers as hard as she/he can. This grip strength test gives us a before and after benchmark.
  • Try to work on your patient  pecs and down the arm rather than only focusing on the wrist.
  • Put a little bit of lubricant on your fingers, not a lot because we need to get some good purchase with the skin, we then glide or MFR through that bicep, make sure that the client feels relaxed in the forearm and wrist through this manoeuvre.
  • Continue with the myofascial work on the forearm flexors before you start to go local. You’ll see some good changes if we work on the entire train of connective tissue in the arm.

Shoulder Impingement with a touch of focus to the thorax

Shoulder Impingement is the result of tissue irritation or damage. It can occur due to overuse, muscle spasms, arthritis, general wellness issues, or even from lifting an extra heavy object. What causes impingement is unclear, but it is often accompanied by sharp, shooting pain in the shoulder blade area.

A patient of mine presented with a nasty shoulder impingement on his left shoulder so reaching up, certain press exercises, anything overhead was really sore and couldn’t lift anything heavier than a really light weight; we set out treating with usual neuromuscular techniques and then tweaked it with my personalised neurolymphatic work hoping to get a result. Within this one session the results were excellent.

  • Try to get some kind of really good biomechanical movement through the shoulder.
  • The tricky subscapularis is quite often a problem, at first I just did a pin

 and stretch and got him to go  through his shoulder range.

  • Because he didn’t have good range I tweaked it with a little bit of the thoracic work using Chapman’s Reflexes or the neurolymphatic points.

By following the tips above, you can take control over your shoulder and wrist pain. You deserve to be in charge of your own health and wellbeing. By employing some of these methods into your daily routine, you can save time and get relief faster. The best way to get rid of shoulder and wrist pain is to avoid doing something that causes it in the first place. That being said, some movement is necessary for health and fitness. Exercising your affected shoulder or wrist does not have to be painful. If you’re experiencing pain in your shoulders and wrists, then keep in mind that it’s important to find a manual therapist like a remedial massage therapist who can help relieve your pain and discomfort effectively. With the right treatment, you will most likely be able to return to your activities and work without having to worry about future problems with your shoulders or wrists.

The good news is that most of my clients find relief with the help of my treatments. Now, it’s your turn. Go implement what you’ve learned here in this article and let me know how it goes.

Watch to learn more on how to effectively relieve shoulder and wrist pain.

Here’s a short video I have made to show you how exactly you can do this from your clinic and your patient to their homes.

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