5 simple tips to manage your Shoulder Osteoarthritis (OA)
Shoulder osteoarthritis is a degenerative condition that affects the shoulder joint as we age and joints undergo the natural wear and tear process. 
Here are some simple yet effective tips to manage your shoulder osteoarthritis: 
Modify your activities: It is very important to protect the shoulder during everyday activities so that there are minimal or no stresses on the shoulder joint. You can use assistive devices such as reachers or jar openers if needed. 
Pace out your activities: Do not try and do all your daily activities to finish them off at one time. Take breaks and let the shoulders rest in between activities. Alternate activity with rest – even on the days when you are feeling relatively pain free.
Movement helps: Carry out regular exercises for the shoulder. Inactivity can cause stiffness in the shoulder but overactivity can lead to aggravation of the osteoarthritis symptoms. A good way to avoid both is to have a balanced approach to movement. Exercises for shoulder OA should include aerobic, strengthening and flexibility activities. Aerobic exercises will help you to increase your endurance, strengthening exercises help to stabilize the shoulder complex and flexibility (stretching) exercises help to maintain range of motion for the shoulder. Always remember to pace out your exercises and make sure you are still working in a pain free range. It is fine to feel a stretch in the shoulder during exercise but it is not right to feel pain during exercise. If you feel pain then you need to either cut back on the intensity or duration of the aggravating exercise and if that still doesn’t help then stop it all together.
Use a hot or cold pack along with gentle self massages
Cold packs help to reduce the pain by reducing inflammation and swelling in the shoulder. This is specially true in case of a flare up of OA. Heat packs help to relax your muscles and they also stimulate blood circulation to the shoulder. Gentle self massage can help with relaxation to the painful shoulder.  
Maintain a good posture: It is very important to maintain a good posture as this minimises the stress on the shoulder. If you have a forward head posture or rounded shoulders the joints are not sitting in a neutral position and there is excessive stresses on the shoulder during all activities. This can lead to excessive degeneration of the area and thus an aggravation of the OA. Use proper methods for bending, lifting, reaching, sitting and standing.
Watch this video to know more details about how shoulder osteoarthritis occurs, along with a brief outline of its medical management. 

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