Do You REALLY Need Steroids for Shoulder Pain?

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massage-389716_640There are few types of pain more uncomfortable than shoulder pain. Those who develop tendonitis, bursitis, rotator cuff problems, etc., know all too well the familiar aches of shoulder pain. Individuals dealing with such pain are often willing to do almost anything to ease it.

The Trouble With Steroids

In an attempt to control shoulder pain, it’s common for patients to take prescription corticosteroids, often referred to simply as steroids. Medline Plus’s article titled Steroids says that steroids “are similar to hormones that your adrenal glands make to fight stress associated with illnesses and injuries.” Steroids can be quite effective at counteracting bodily pain, such as shoulder pain.

Although steroids often deliver serious pain relief, they have their drawbacks. According to the Mayo Clinic, steroids can cause glaucoma, fluid retention, heightened blood pressure, mood swings, and weight gain. Some people simply cannot tolerate taking steroids.

The Drug-Free Solution for Shoulder Pain

Anyone suffering with shoulder pain should know about the drug-free treatment that may be just as effective as steroids at relieving discomfort. The treatment is called physiotherapy, and it is freeing people everyday from pain.

In 2014, researchers performed a study on over 100 adults with shoulder pain due to bursitis, tendonitis or rotator cuff issues. Here’s what lead researcher Daniel Rhon had to say about the study:

Whether you had a steroid injection or (physiotherapy), the improvement in each group was the same…It was also a rather large improvement, about 50 percent, and this improvement was maintained for at least one year.”

In light of these findings, those who have chronic shoulder pain may want to seriously consider making an appointment with a physiotherapist for an evaluation.

If you choose to consult with a physiotherapist about your shoulder pain, don’t rule out the usage of medications. A physiotherapist is a healthcare professional who may refer you to another type of practitioner whom he or she could work with to best treat your issues. Medication might be helpful to you, but physiotherapy may be effective on its own.

How a Physiotherapist Treats Shoulder Pain

Since physiotherapists do not treat shoulder pain with drugs, how do they treat this type of pain? Here are few modalities they often use to quell the aches caused by rotator cuff problems and other issues:

— Heat/cold therapy

— Contraction/relaxation techniques

— Strengthening exercises that can be performed at home

— Electrotherapy

— Kinesiology tape

Read more about how physiotherapists treat shoulder pain here.

Are you struggling with shoulder pain? If so, be assured that there is a drug-free treatment that might work as well for you as would steroids. Contact a physiotherapist today!

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