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How to Treat Shoulder Pain

How to Treat Shoulder Pain

The treatments for shoulder pain are as varied as the causes of it. We’ll run down some of the treatments that your doctor may consider after examining you. We’ll include traditional medical treatments as well as alternatives.

Activity Changes

If your shoulder pain is the result of an injury, the first thing your doctor may do is tell you to reduce the amount of strain you put on it. That means refraining from certain types of workouts, not doing any heavy lifting, or even switching your sleep position to give your shoulder time to heal.


Another common treatment for shoulder pain is medication. Depending upon the underlying cause of your pain, your doctor may prescribe:

  • Anti-inflammatory medications, including steroids
  • Muscle relaxing medication
  • Pain medication, including opioids

For injuries that are the result of an injury, short-term use of anti-inflammatories or pain medication may be enough to relieve your pain and give the shoulder time to heal. You may also find that topical application of creams or gels can help relieve pain and discomfort. However, pain medication for chronic problems is not recommended.

Physical Therapy

If you’ve injured your shoulder and need help regaining mobility in the joint, working with a qualified physical therapist can help.

A physical therapist can provide you with specific exercises to help relieve pain and restore mobility over time.


In some cases, a severe shoulder injury may require surgery. For example, a serious dislocation, a torn rotator cuff or tendon, or a disc herniation may need a surgeon’s care.

Surgery should always be viewed as a last resort. In most cases, shoulder injuries and pain can be resolved without surgery.

Chiropractic Care

Chiropractic care is very popular for the treatment of muscular and joint pain, and shoulder pain is no exception. In the event that you have an issue with repeated subluxations or loss of mobility, visiting a chiropractor can help.
A qualified chiropractor will examine you thoroughly and determine the cause of your shoulder pain. They can then preform adjustments on your shoulder and the surrounding areas to relieve the pain.

Over time, routine chiropractic care can help to restore mobility, eliminate pain, and also reduce the chances that you will reinjure your shoulder.


Acupuncture is a tradition in Chinese medicine but it is also popular around the world. It’s considered an alternative therapy, but many states license acupuncturists.

While chiropractic care and acupuncture both fall outside of the realm of standard medicine, many medical doctors will recommend them to their patients as a means of managing pain.

Regenerative Medicine

Those who suffer from a shoulder injury may also turn to state-of-the-art regenerative medicine treatments – we offer adipose-derived stem cell therapy treatments at our facility.

Stem cells are natural regrowth factors that aim to regenerate injured or damaged cellular tissue (like ligaments and tendons). These regenerative biologics are harvested from the patient, so there is little worry and concern for rejection or infection. The procedure is also minimally invasive and requires little to no recovery time. Most patients who opt for this procedure can walk out of the clinical office immediately afterward and resume their normal daily activities.

It is unfortunate that regenerative medicine for pain management isn’t widely known, as we have seen great success with it in treating shoulder and other joint injuries.

Other Treatments

Finally, it’s important to note that other underlying causes of shoulder pain may require additional treatments. For example, shoulder pain that occurs as the result of cancer may require chemotherapy or radiation. Heart disease may be treated with surgery or medication. Your doctor will be able to determine the best course of treatment after doing a complete examination.

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