Shoulder Pain: 3 Things That Surprisingly DON’T Help To Ease It


Are you currently suffering with, or have you suffered with shoulder pain before?

It’s one of the greatest mysteries of being 50+ – the sudden onset of shoulder pain and stiffness that often creeps up on people with no warning and usually offers NO explanation.

Sometimes it just happens. I’ve had a number of patients come to see me and say things like…

I just woke up one morning a month ago with a pain in my neck and shoulders, I thought it’d go away but it’s starting to get on my nerves now!”


At first my shoulder just felt stiff when I woke up, I didn’t think much of it at first, like with any other aches and pains they usually ease off after a few days, but my shoulder has become tighter and it’s interfering with my day. I can’t even reach for my coffee cup in the cupboard without it feeling painful.”

And because it can just happen without warning, people usually “try” a number of options before coming to see me, when looking for ways to end shoulder pain…

  1. Painkillers
  2. Rest and time
  3. “Nice” relaxing spa style massages

Do any of these ’solutions’ sound familiar?

Here’s why none of them work in the long run, like people who are trying them out, hope:

1. Painkillers

The thing with painkillers is that they might ease the pain for an hour or so, but all that pain killers and anti-inflammatory tablets do is MASK the pain – they don’t get to the root cause of your ache and pain.

When painkillers wear off and you go to grab another two, the problem is still there and you’re still left feeling frustrated with a very tight muscle, or a stiff shoulder. They DON’T SOLVE the problem.

2. Rest and time

It’s a common thing to think that resting your shoulder will fix the pain, but the thing is, with time and MORE rest, your muscles become tighter and your joints become stiffer. Just like if you leave your car sitting on the driveway for a few months, when you get back in to drive it again, it’s unlikely that it’ll feel smooth straight away. Your joints and muscles are designed to move, and your body gets stronger the more you keep it active.

And that’s why it’s crucial that you get your shoulder joints moving to reduce any stiffness, to help it feel more relaxed so you can freely begin to move without pain again.

3. “Nice” relaxing, spa style massages

As amazing as these feel, these types of massages rarely work long term. Now it’s not the girls fault at all! Those types of massage therapists aren’t trained to get to the root cause of your problem – the pressure applied to your muscles won’t ever be ‘quite right’. And when they tell you that they can feel ‘knots’ in your shoulders – every person over the age of 45 has knots and tension in their shoulder muscles (in fact most people do regardless of age!)… but it’s not always an issue, or even the source of your pain.

This is where we can help you.

We don’t recommend painkillers if your pain hasn’t gone after 5 days. We’ll give you a set of personalized exercises that will be done safely when we know you’re ready for them. And the massages that we can do for you are done with expert hands trained to know precisely where, when and how much pressure to apply to the problem area. We want to help you get back to being active and on the go as quickly as possible.

If you’d like to know ways to put a stop to annoying, daily, irritating shoulder pain, click HERE to download our neck and shoulder free report to help you today.

Dean Volk PT, MPT

Dean, graduated with a Master’s degree in Physical Therapy from Northern Arizona University and has furthered his studies with a number of post-graduate courses focusing on the shoulder, knee, and back, with a strong emphasis in manual therapy. He has completed all Levels (I,II & III) of training in Total Motion Release which has afforded him an excellent way to relieve pain and restore function quickly and effectively. With 20+ years experience in Physical Therapy, Dean has practiced in various orthopedic and sports focused clinical settings, in Phoenix, AZ, Charlotte,NC and most recently Charleston, SC. During his years of service, Dean has cared for a wide variety of clients: from school-aged children to retirees, from homemakers to business professionals, from weekend warriors to professional athletes.

Dean and his wife Trudy have 2 sons, Ben and Jesse who both graduated from the College of Charleston. Dean is an avid sports fan, enjoys spending time with his family and working with his clients to improve their lives.
Dean Volk PT, MPT

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