Shoulder tendonitis heat or ice is the question that will pop into most people’s minds when they experience shoulder pain. I have a much experience with tendonitis and torn rotator cuffs from years of weight training. At times, it can be difficult to differentiate between these two types of shoulder pain; all you know is you need to treat it.
To add to this, there is rotator cuff tendonitis. What’s a person to do? First of all, when pain is severe it may be a torn rotator cuff and you might need medical attention, however, it is possible to rehab a torn rotator cuff on your own. As long as you ice the shoulder immediately and STOP any movement that causes pain it usually doesn’t worsen, just watch it closely for a couple of days.
The best thing you can do for both types of shoulder injuries from the very start is to apply ice and rest. Do not try to push through the pain as this most likely will make matters worse. Many athletic types are programmed to push through the pain, but I advise you not do this or it will take even longer to rehab and recover. You have to baby shoulder injuries or risk re-injury.
Shoulder tendonitis pain is a very sharp shooting pain that let’s you know right away that you need to back off. After you ice and rest for a couple of days you can try to use heat, preferably moist heat, to relax shoulder muscles and tendons, so that you can attempt to stretch them SLOWLY to get range of motion back. Do not make any fast moves or you risk a set back.
My favorite place to do this is in the shower where moist heat is plentiful and you can place the shoulder right under the shower head, so that it can massage it at the same time. Massage is an excellent treatment all by itself and when combined with heat it’s an amazing natural healing remedy. If this creates pain, it is too soon to apply heat and you need to go back to cold therapy.
The massaging action of the shower head might be enough, but if it isn’t do some massaging of your own by hand or use a hand held massage unit with heat to get the most benefit.
When you use ice, heat and massage, in that order, it will help ease the pain and heal the injury. It usually takes 3-6 weeks to get full range of motion back without feeling pain. It’s okay to feel discomfort, but sharp shooting pain is not okay this is a sign to back off right away.
One last tip I can give you is to not baby the shoulder so much that you lose range of motion or flexibility. Keep stretching and moving as much as possible, but only to the point of discomfort not pain.
Shoulder tendonitis heat or ice should be heat and ice, because both are beneficial, but ice is always first and heat follows to soothe and relax.