Moving Day: With Shoulder Pain

Moving Day: With Shoulder Pain

January 29, 2014


No matter how organized or well-planned, any moving day is going to be stressful. Whether across town or across the country, starting over in a new place can leave you feeling a combination of excitement and anxiety. Even when you have everything under control and planned to the letter, when moving day comes around it still feels like a shock. When you add shoulder pain to the mix, a whole new dimension of difficulties can emerge.

Whether your shoulder is bothering you due to injury or inflammation, and regardless of what stage of your recovery you are at, it’s easy for a major life event like moving to upset your progress. You may have been healing well and following all your doctor’s instructions, but when it comes to moving day it’s very easy to push yourself too hard and set yourself back. Luckily, there are several things that you can do to make moving easier on yourself, and on your shoulder.

No matter how busy you are on moving day, make sure you take the time to stretch prior to lifting anything, in order to warm up your shoulder and get your muscles and tendons limber. This will help prevent injuries due to stiffness or tightness and will minimize the chance of a flare-up.

Control Your Movements
In general, the shoulder is more prone to injury when above and behind your head. Lifting objects above shoulder level should be avoided. Movements with the elbows against your sides and hands out straight in front of you are safest for the shoulder joint.

Accept Help
Though it’s tempting to try and be a hero, make sure that you accept all the help that friends and neighbors have to offer. Many hands make quick and light work, and the more people you have helping you, the better things will go. The simple fact is the more you lift, the greater the chance your pain will flare-up.

Make sure you express your limitations to everyone helping you and anyone you’re moving with. Don’t lift anything that might be dangerous for you, or move in a way that puts your shoulder at risk (see above). Letting everyone know what you can and can’t do puts everyone on the same page and allows them to help you more effectively.

Hire Help
It might seem like an unnecessary expense, but don’t hesitate to hire movers, especially for very heavy items like large furniture and appliances. Their expertise and assistance can be incredibly valuable, especially if you are concerned about hurting yourself.

Know Your Limits
Make sure that you rest when you need to, and that if your shoulder begins to hurt, you give yourself permission to stop, rest and reassess the situation. You might have to change tactics or accept more help partway through a move, which is fine. Let things change if they need be.

Keeping these tips in mind, your moving day can be smooth and stress-free, without putting any unnecessary strain on your shoulders. Focusing on having a good move means that you can shift your energy and attention more quickly to unpacking (carefully) and enjoying your new home.

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