Whether you’re reaching for a book on the shelf, sitting at a desk or swinging at a baseball, your shoulders are always at work. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the shoulder is the body’s most injured joint. It’s often easy to ignore shoulder soreness, but it’s important to take the time to care for your shoulders and be mindful of preventing injuries.
Ways You Can Injure Your Shoulders
The most common shoulder injuries occur from repetitive movements or too much arm motion, like playing baseball or hanging a curtain. But there are other ways you can hurt your shoulder, such as:
- Age: natural wear and tear that comes with age can damage your shoulder
- Bursitis: the fluid-filled pads that cushion your joints get swollen
- Dislocation: when your upper arm bone comes out of the shoulder
- Frozen shoulder: when the connective tissue that holds your shoulders together thickens and tightens, restricting movement
- Osteoarthritis: the cartilage that protects your joints wears down
- Rotator cuff damage: injury to the rotator cuff, a group of muscles and tendons that keeps your shoulders together
3 Tips to Prevent Shoulder Injuries
Shoulder injuries can keep you from enjoying the little things in life, like picking up your grandkids or grabbing a mug from the cupboard. But there are things you can do and implement into your lifestyle to prevent injuries from occurring in the first place. Here are some ways you keep injuries away:
Always Warm Up Before Exercising
Exercising while your muscles are still cold is a sure way to injure your shoulder. Shoulder stretches and a short cardio session get your heart rate up and activate the synovial fluid that lubricates your joints. Take those extra 10 minutes to warm up properly and spare yourself an injury.
Add Cross-Training to Your Workout Mix
Cross-training can look like mixing up the workouts you do or learning to use your other arm when playing a sport. This is especially important for athletes who spend a lot of time doing overhead motions. For example, if you’re a baseball player, consider learning how to pitch with your other arm or switch out one practice session for a running or biking workout.
Increase Shoulder Strength
Lifting and exercising using proper form to strengthen your shoulder can help stabilize the joint, preventing painful dislocation injuries. Always talk to your primary care doctor before beginning a strengthening program, though. Your doctor can help determine which exercises are best for you.
How to Recover From a Shoulder Injury
Sometimes, all it takes to mend your shoulder is rehabilitation and rest. But other times, you may need more. Here are a few shoulder treatment options your doctor or physical therapist may recommend to you:
- Arthroscopic procedures
- Internal fixation procedures
- Minimally invasive surgery
- Proximal humeral nail
- Reconstructive surgery
- Rest and physical therapy
- Should joint replacements
Count on Our Sports Medicine Expertise to Help You Heal
Helping you understand your options and providing personalized orthopedic shoulder treatments is at the core of what we do. Our AdventHealth Sports Medicine and Rehab team is here to help you regain your strength and confidence so that you can move forward with less pain and more ease. Click here to learn more about our care and find the right expert near you today.