If you have a sore shoulder, there are several potential causes of the discomfort. You may have injured the shoulder or overused the shoulder while participating in physical activities. Arthritis and infections are also possible reasons you feel soreness in the shoulder. Before treating your sore shoulder at home, contact your doctor to rule out any serious medical conditions that could be causing the pain.
Rest the shoulder. If you have soreness, resting the shoulder can help relieve the inflammation. You may be advised by your doctor to avoid certain sports such as tennis, baseball and swimming. You should also avoid any lifting until symptoms are relieved.
Ice the shoulder. Ice can be applied to the shoulder to decrease inflammation and provide pain relief. Wrap an ice pack in a towel and apply directly to the site of the pain. Leave on for 20 minutes. Repeat usage for a total of four to eight times daily.
Put your arm in a sling. If the pain and discomfort is severe, you may need to use compression to keep the shoulder in place to give it time to heal. While wearing a sling, the arm is next to the body and your elbow remains bent.
Participate in range of motion exercises. Although you should rest the shoulder, your doctor may advise an active rest. During an active rest, you begin range of motion exercise to build up strength in the shoulder and restore normal function. A sample exercise would involve you leaning your upper body over until you are facing the floor. Allow your sore arm to dangle in front of you. Use the arm to draw small circles in the air. Gradually increase the size of the circles.
Keep your shoulder elevated at night. When you lie down, prop your sore shoulder up onto a pillow to keep the shoulder above the heart level as you sleep.