Shoulder pain can make it hard to do everyday things and enjoy life. Many people experience shoulder pain, affecting about 7% to 26% of the general population. In fact, it's one of the most common problems people talk to their doctors about. This guide will help you understand shoulder pain, what causes it, and how to treat it. We want to give you the information and tools to feel better and live well.
What is Shoulder Pain?
Shoulder pain means feeling uncomfortable in your shoulder joint and the muscles around it. It can last a short time (acute) or a long time (chronic). You might have a dull ache, sharp or throbbing pain, trouble moving your arm, stiffness, or difficulty doing activities like lifting or reaching overhead.
What Causes Shoulder Pain?
Shoulder pain can be divided into two categories: primary pain and secondary pain. Knowing your pain type is important to find the right treatment.
- Most cases of shoulder pain fall under this category.
- It happens because the brain becomes more sensitive to pain signals.
- Primary pain can last longer and may start suddenly, even without an injury.
- It can come and go, especially when you're feeling stressed.
- This type of pain comes from a physical injury or illness.
- It's often linked to a specific injury, like a tear in the rotator cuff or a dislocated shoulder.
- Secondary pain usually goes away within six months and is limited to a particular area of the shoulder.
- It can also be caused by certain injuries like fractures or tumors.
How to Treat Shoulder Pain:
Most cases of shoulder pain fall into the primary pain category. To treat this type of pain, we need to focus on the brain and how it processes pain signals. Here are some strategies that can help:
- Neuroscience: Scientists study how the brain and nervous system affect pain. By understanding this connection, we can find ways to manage pain better.
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT): CBT helps you change negative thoughts related to pain and develop better ways to cope with discomfort.
- Psychology: Understanding your mental and emotional state is important because it can affect how you experience pain.
Treatment Program: Lin's program combines different approaches to help you manage primary shoulder pain. It includes:
- Pain Reprocessing Therapy (PRT): This therapy helps the brain "unlearn" its response to pain signals using visualization and changing how we think about pain.
- Psychophysiologic Symptom Relief Therapy (PSRT): This therapy focuses on the connection between our emotions and physical pain. It teaches relaxation techniques and stress management.
- Emotional Awareness and Expression Therapy (EAET): This therapy helps you understand and express your emotions, which can help reduce physical pain.
- Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT): ACT encourages you to accept your reactions, be present, choose a direction, and take action to deal with pain effectively.
By combining these different approaches, Lin's program offers a comprehensive way to manage shoulder pain and similar conditions. Remember, with the right guidance and support, you can overcome chronic shoulder pain and live a fulfilling life.