Hard work and shoulder pain
Pesach is now within reach and after a hectic few weeks of planning, shopping and cleaning, we are in the home stretch before the Chag. However, there will undoubtedly still be a last minute push before we can relax and enjoy ourselves!
Unfortunately, our hard work and diligence can come at a price. Do you experience sore, achy shoulders after stretching, dusting, polishing or cooking? Are activities that used to be easy and pain-free now uncomfortable to perform? If you answered “Yes” to any of these questions, you are not alone; shoulder discomfort and pain is one of the most common physical ailments.
Where does shoulder pain come from?
When everything is working well, we are able to easily move our arms up and down, from side to side and around in circles (as well as being able to give the ubiquitous Israeli shoulder shrug!). If one of our muscles or ligaments is over-stretched or over-used, as in the case of rotator cuff impairment or if there is inflammation in your shoulder (e.g. bursitis) or if you suffer from frozen shoulder, the shoulder gets out of balance and this is when stretching overhead or reaching behind your back becomes painful. It can be debilitating and can disrupt in your daily activities.
The shoulder is one of the most hardworking joints in the body and is largely responsible for performing the upper body's complex range of movements. It is an extremely mobile joint and complex in its structure and because of this, it is potentially one of the most unstable joints in the body and requires preventive care as well as proactive treatment should a problem arise.
Another cause of shoulder pain can be attributed to repetitive motions. This is compounded when we are bogged down in a pre-Pesach cleaning frenzy. Repetitive overhead motions such as dusting and polishing can increase the possibility of shoulder sensitivity. In this case, we may begin to feel pain immediately or pain can make itself felt over the course of a few days.
Shoulder problems and conservative treatment
The majority of shoulder problems respond well to conservative treatment. Causes, symptoms, prognosis and treatments vary from one person to the next and depend on the length and severity of the problem. Remember there is no one-size-fits-all approach that can deal with all shoulder issues or that will work for everyone with the same problem.
Simeon Asher, the founder of the Back into Shape Clinic and a world renowned osteopath, has published widely on the subject of shoulder pain and his breakthrough methods for treating frozen shoulders and the rotator cuff are now used by over 60,000 therapists worldwide. You can read more here: https://www.nielasher.com/collections/frozen-shoulder
In the course of preparing your home for Pesach, be conscious of little things which can help prevent shoulder strain. For example, be aware of how you reach for items in your cupboards and pantry. Don't strain to reach something on a high shelf; rather use a footstool to get to those dishes which are just beyond the range of your fingertips.
Four simple tips to ease shoulder pain
If you are suffering, try one of these four simple DIY tips for easing shoulder pain:
Take an over-the-counter painkiller.
Icing and heating treatments can help to ease the pain, particularly if your muscles feel sore and tense.
Reduce the strain on your shoulders. You may have set up a work schedule but don't overdo it, the key is to pace yourself.
Be aware of your movements. For example, when vacuuming, keep your upper body upright, with the vacuum close to your body and use short sweeping movements instead of extending your arms to the maximum and putting additional strain on your shoulders.
Don’t do it all yourself – enlist the help of your family!
If you have an ache that will not go away, it may be time to see a healthcare professional. At Back into Shape Clinic, Ra'anana, our internationally qualified, multi-disciplinary team of caring osteopaths, physiotherapists and medical massage therapists are on hand to help you. With a range of treatment options and with our special warmth and empathy, we will take care of you and your aching shoulders, book an appointment today.
Wishing you and your family and all of Israel a healthy, pain-free and joyous Pesach.
Miriam Lipshitz has recently joined the Back into Shape team as the IDD technician and clinic assistant. She is a South African qualified and experienced teacher by profession with wide ranging experience in research and writing.