The Truth About Shoulder Injuries

%image_alt%Shoulder Injuries

The shoulder joint is a complex joint sacrificing joint stability for mobility, it is therefore prone to injuries

  • Injuries to the shoulder joint are common in over head athletes (eg. tennis players, swimmers) and those that work using repetitive arm and shoulder movements (eg. Butchers, carpenters etc)
  • Due to the lack of joint stability the shoulder depends on muscles to stabilize the joint when it moves
  • These muscles are called the rotator cuff and are made up of four muscles; supraspinatus, infraspinatus, subscapularis and teres minor
  • The rotator cuff is therefore commonly injured due to its stabilizing role around the joint
  • Common shoulder injuries include: rotator cuff tears, rotator cuff tendinopathy, bursitis, impingement syndrome, frozen shoulder and capsulitis Treatment
  • A lot of shoulder injuries respond well to strengthening of the rotator cuff along with the strengthening the muscles around the shoulder blade (scapula stabilizers) guided by your physiotherapist or personal trainer
  • Some shoulder injuries require cortisone injections or surgery in severe cases
  • Most surgeons request a bout of physiotherapy and use surgery as a last resort, apart from full thickness tears of the rotator cuff

 TIPS

  • Get an early diagnosis by your physiotherapist to start appropriate rehabilitation
  • Avoid aggravating activities; such as above shoulder height movements
  • Talk to your personal trainer about rotator cuff strengthening

 

Source ; Depalma, J. & Johnson, E.W. (2003). Detecting and Treating Shoulder impingement Syndrome. The Physician and Sports Medicine 31(7) 1-9.


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