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A Diet for a Shoulder Ache

author image Martin Hughes
Martin Hughes is a chiropractic physician, health writer and the co-owner of a website devoted to natural footgear. He writes about health, fitness, diet and lifestyle. Hughes earned his Bachelor of Science in kinesiology at the University of Waterloo and his doctoral degree from Western States Chiropractic College in Portland, Ore.
A Diet for a Shoulder Ache
Shoulder ache may be caused by numerous factors. Photo Credit: twinsterphoto/iStock/Getty Images

Your shoulder joint possesses significant mobility, although increased joint mobility may boost your risk for joint instability or impingement of your shoulder's soft tissue structures, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Instability and impingement can lead to shoulder ache and decreased shoulder joint range of motion. Before using diet and nutrition to help resolve your shoulder ache, meet with your physician to review the merits, drawbacks and limitations of this natural health approach.

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Shoulder Problems

You might feel shoulder pain in one specific part of your shoulder, throughout your shoulder or down your arm. Numerous shoulder problems can cause shoulder pain. One of the leading causes of shoulder pain is age-related soft tissue degeneration in your rotator cuff muscles, according to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. Shoulder strains or muscle tears, ligament sprains and degenerative conditions such as osteoarthritis are also common causes of shoulder ache.

An Appropriate Diet

Diet and nutrition can have a significant impact on your shoulder pain. Shoulder ache that is associated with muscle damage, such as a partial tear of one of your rotator cuff muscles, may respond to flaxseed powder, ginger, green tea, garlic and fresh pineapple, according to certified nutritional consultant Phyllis A. Balch, author of "Prescription for Nutritional Healing." An appropriate diet for shoulder pain caused by osteoarthritis may include onions, asparagus, brown rice and avocados. Consider avoiding foods that contain solanine, including eggplant, peppers and white potatoes; solanine may cause pain or discomfort in some people who have arthritis.

A Useful Food

Fresh pineapple contains proteolytic enzymes and may be one of the most useful foods in treating the underlying cause of your shoulder ache. The group of proteolytic enzymes contained in fresh pineapple is called bromelain, and bromelain promotes inflammatory balance and reduces swelling, according to nutritionist and biologist George Mateljan, author of "The World's Healthiest Foods." Fresh pineapple may help speed your recovery from injuries and surgery and has historically been used in treating a variety of musculoskeletal health problems. Further scientific inquiry into the effectiveness of this food for shoulder pain is needed to validate its health effects.

Additional Information

Some shoulder aches may be the result of organ problems such as gallbladder dysfunction, liver disease and heart disease. Shoulder pain may also be the result of problems in your cervical spine. Because of the numerous possible causes of this shoulder pain, you should always be evaluated by a licensed healthcare professional. Your physician can make diet and nutrition recommendations that are both safe and efficacious. Review possible side effects and potential drug interactions with your doctor before changing your diet.

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