Wrong beliefs & tips

The shoulder joint has a large range of motion, but it also means, it has less stability. Muscles and ligaments play an important role in stabilizing your shoulder. When your shoulder hurts, you can hear all kinds of things and advice. We help you sort through all this information.

Belief 1: “I may not use my affected arm/shoulder.”

False: You can use your affected arm/shoulder, but listen to your body and pain.

Tip: The shoulder joint is a common used joint in daily life that is put under particular strain every day. Try to relieve your shoulder by using it for actions that cause little to no pain. If you perform an action that causes tolerable pain, it is best to look at how long the pain lasts. Pain can and should persist for about 24 hours after the action. If it persists longer than 24h, you have overused your shoulder and should avoid this specific action until your shoulder is better or until your doctor says to.

Belief 2: “Pain is always bad.”

False: Pain ≠ harm

Tip: Pain can be compared to an alarm signal. It means that this pain system is warning your body that there is potential danger. Therefore, it is important to listen to this signal and take a step back. Pain does not equal harm. This is the reason why you can definitely still move your shoulder. So the pain makes you aware that you may have been working too much, too fast or/and too heavily with your shoulder and that you need to reduce it temporarily.

Belief 3: “It’s better to rest with my painful arm/shoulder.”

False: Use your painful arm/shoulder when you can.

Tip: You should not overload, but at the same time you should not underload either. As described above, your shoulder is made for moving around a lot. Therefore, rest is not always the preferred treatment. You can feel free to use your shoulder if you stay below your pain threshold. Moreover, movement can also provide you with pain relief. This is mainly about global movement and not only about moving your affected arm/shoulder (more info in the other brochure).

Belief 4: “I can’t carry heavy weights”

False: You can carry heavy weights as long as you use your shoulder correctly.

Tip: You can lift heavy objects by holding them close to your body. In this way, you reduce the leverage and thus the strain on your shoulder. In addition to this tip, it is also best to keep in mind the tips above about your pain threshold and activities.

Updated on August 24, 2023

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