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  • The 5 Best Tools to Get Rid of Shoulder Pain

    sore neck and shouldersEveryone gets shoulder pain at one time or another, especially if you have stress. But what can you do about it? Well… I personally think that massage is, hands down, the best way to reduce muscle tension and the effects of stress; but I may be a little biased. On the offhand chance that you don’t have a massage therapist on retainer, or that the one you do have is so good that you have to wait a couple weeks to get in to see her (or him), here are a few tools that you can use to treat yourself in the meantime. *Bonus, you probably already have most of these. If not, the first two are relatively cheap.
    1. Tennis Ball – This is a great tool for working on those pesky knots in your upper back, side, chest, etc. There are 2 ways you can use the tennis ball. The first is to lie on a bed, couch, or carpeted floor (or folded comforter if you have wood floors) with the ball between your knotted muscle and the bed/couch/floor, then slowly move so that the ball rolls over the knot in all directions (up, down, side-to-side). The second way is almost identical to the first except that you’re standing with the ball between you and a wall. Just make sure that when you move to roll the ball that you move from your legs so you don’t tighten the muscles your working on. If the tennis ball doesn’t help, try moving it to a different area before giving up on it. For instance, if it hurts between your shoulder blades and you got no relief from rolling the ball there, try using the ball on your sides (these muscles may be tight and pulling on your shoulder blades) or your pecs (chest muscles). If the tennis ball still doesn’t help, try the super ball below.
    2. Superball/ bouncy ball – Another great tool for those annoying knots. Unlike tennis balls, bouncy balls come in a variety of sizes. If the tennis ball doesn’t give you any relief and/or if you have a high pain tolerance, the superball is going to be your pal. Use it just like you would the tennis ball, but be extra careful and use some padding when using it on the muscles over the rib area. *Note: The smaller the bouncy ball, the “zingier” it’s gonna feel. If the bouncy ball feels too painful, try a larger one to spread out the pressure. If the large size is still too much, try using the tennis ball if you haven’t already.
    3. Heat – Heat comes in many forms: heating pad, microwavable pack, bath, hot water bottle, etc. It is one of the most useful tools for muscle tension. The biggest trick is to not overheat the area, so only use it for 10-15 minutes at a time on the shoulder region. After you remove the heat, slowly and gently stretch the warm muscle. *Caution: Only use heat if your shoulders are NOT red, hot, or swollen.
    4. Ice – If your shoulders are red, hot, and/or swollen put ice on them for 10-15 minutes, wait 45-50 minutes, repeat the ice. 3-4 consecutive rounds of ice per day should help reduce your pain, especially in conjunction with one of the balls or the electric massager.
    5. Electric Massager – There are many types of electric massagers out there but the one I’m talking about is the type that not only vibrates but also has “heads” that pound or beat against you (the technical term is percussion). Running this massager on your tight muscles is super effective, as long as you don’t push too hard with the massager and either bruise yourself or give yourself a case of workout soreness. Not that I’d know from personal experience… I’ve just heard that it can happen πŸ˜‰ Note: These massagers usually come with 2-4 heads of varying hardnesses. Always use the softest ones!! Trust me.

    Do you have a favorite tool that you use to relieve your shoulder pain? If so, I’d love to hear about it so leave me a comment. And don’t forget to like, share, retweet, or pin this wherever you spend your time online. Oh yes, remember to share widely using the buttons below β†“↓↓