Managing Your Pain After Shoulder Surgery
If you've been suffering from a torn rotator cuff, a slab tear, or another shoulder injury, then having surgery to repair the damage is probably necessary. Ultimately, you will suffer far less pain and discomfort once you heal, but getting to that point of being healed can be a challenge. Here are some ways to effectively manage your pain after shoulder surgery.
Use an ice machine.
Applying ice to your shoulder on a regular basis will help reduce inflammation, which will, in turn, reduce your pain and speed up the healing process. But having to frequently hold ice packs against your shoulder can be difficult. A better option is to get an ice machine. This machine has a device that fits over your shoulder and holds cold water. The water constantly circulates through the ice machine, which cools the water down. An ice machine keeps your shoulder consistently cool, so your pain is better managed throughout the day. You can even fall asleep with it on, whereas an ice pack may slide off.
Don't be afraid to use pain relievers.
With the opiate epidemic receiving so much media attention lately, many people are afraid to take opiate pain relievers. However, it's okay to take them in this case as long as you do not have a history of opiate addiction and they've been prescribed by your doctor. Opiates are sometimes the best relief for pain after shoulder surgery. Just make sure you stick to the recommended dose, and stop taking them after the first week or so when the pain is at its worst.
Get a nerve block.
Ask your surgeon if they can administer a nerve block when they do the shoulder surgery. This will help keep you from feeling pain in your shoulder for about 12 hours after surgery. This is when the pain would have been its worst. You can use this time to really get your ice and pain reliever routine in top-gear so that when the nerve block wears off, you are not so uncomfortable.
Rest, rest, rest.
Many people get overly optimistic and become too active too soon after their shoulder surgery. Listen to your doctor's recommendations, and get plenty of rest during this time. You feel pain more sharply when you are tired or when the rest of your body is physically exhausted.
For more pain management tips or advice, reach out to your doctor at a clinic such as Southwest Florida Neurosurgical & Rehab Associates.