Over 30 per cent of the Australian workforce are tradespeople and almost half of all small businesses are being run by tradies, so it’s no exaggeration to say that our country relies on them.
Shoulder pain is one of the more common types of joint issues that a tradie deals with, whether it’s just wear and tear from overuse or something more serious like a rotator cuff tear.
Tips for managing shoulder pain
Stretching & exercise
Regular exercising and stretching the muscles in and around your shoulder helps to relieve pain and swelling, and also improves flexibility and resilience in the joint.
Here are a few key stretches for your shoulder in particular:
- Overhead shoulder stretch
- Pendulum stretch
- Across the chest stretch
- Seated twist
- Eagle arms spinal rolls
If you’re finding the stretches difficult or painful, see a physio understand the best way to exercise your muscles.
Ice the shoulder
Using ice or a cold compresses is a great way to reduce swelling in the shoulder.
If you find the shoulder is painful at the end of the day, use a frozen gel pack or other ice-pack and press against the area and keep it there for 20 minutes, on and off for an hour.
When the shoulder is stiff and painful with movement, using heat therapy can help to relax the muscles and relieve tension.
Use a heat pack at the end of the day, or in the mornings to relieve muscle pain and get some movement back into the shoulder.
Compression & support
Using elastic bandaging, a shoulder wrap or medical-grade support is a great way to help improve blood-flow to the arm and relieve pain, while also lowering the risk of re-injury.
If you’re wrapping the shoulder, make sure it’s firm but not too tight.
With a shoulder support, use something that takes pressure off the joint and relieves the symptoms of shoulder pain.
Featured above: OmoTrain Shoulder Brace
Rest is still one of the most effective ways of reducing pain and recovering from strain and injury. But how do you rest the arm when you’ve got to be working five or six days a week?
Here are a few ways to rest the shoulder while still getting the job done.
- Alternate tasks at work so you’re only using the shoulder intermittently for shorter periods of time.
- Use break times to stretch the shoulder for 5 minutes to keep the muscles fresh.
- Wear a shoulder support whenever you’re lifting, moving the arm or operating tools.
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