Your shoulders play an important role in a broad range of activities, from getting dressed to lifting objects. If you’re an athlete, you may be especially prone to shoulder injuries, particularly if your sport involves a lot of upper-body motion.
Playing baseball, tennis, or volleyball, for example, raises your risk of shoulder pain and strain.
Board-certified orthopedic sports medicine surgeon Dr. Stephen Fisher and the team at our offices in Cumming, Buford, and Braselton, Georgia, diagnose and treat shoulder injuries so you can experience relief and get safely back to your sport as efficiently as possible.
Here’s a closer look at shoulder injuries, including tips for avoiding one on the track or field.
Shoulder injuries that affect athletes
Shoulder injuries common among athletes vary in type and severity. The most prevalent include:
- Acromioclavicular joint injuries
- Clavicle fractures
- Humeral head fractures
- Labral anteroposterior tears
- Pectoralis major rupture
- Proximal biceps tendon rupture
- Rotator cuff tendinitis and tears
- Shoulder dislocations
- Shoulder fractures
You can also develop activity-specific injuries, like “swimmer’s shoulder” or “thrower’s shoulder.” Similar to osteoarthritis, these injuries often develop gradually due to overuse. Acute injuries, on the other hand, tend to result from a sudden impact or movement.
How to prevent a shoulder-related sports injury
While most shoulder injuries can be effectively treated, preventing one is ideal. And while there’s no surefire way to completely prevent a shoulder injury, you can lower your risk. Smart, expert tips for avoiding such harm include:
- Getting enough rest and avoiding over-exercise
- Maintaining good posture during and between athletic activities
- Strengthening your shoulder muscles through exercise
- Stretching properly
- Using good form during exercise and when using your shoulder joints elsewhere
One helpful way to stretch your shoulders involves interlocking your fingers behind your back, while one elbow is pointed upward and the other downward. Then switch to the opposite.
These steps can help you avoid excessive strain, maintain flexibility, and prevent acute injuries from risky techniques.
When signs of a shoulder injury appear
If you notice signs of a shoulder injury — such as intense or repetitive pain, swelling, or stiffness — don’t hesitate to come into our office. Ignoring a shoulder injury for too long can turn a mild snag into a complex, longer-lasting, and more painful ordeal.
Early on, many shoulder injuries require only conservative treatments, such as rest, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs), a brace or sling for immobilization, or physical therapy.
Surgery is reserved for more severe cases or cases that don’t respond to gentler care.
To learn more about shoulder injuries in athletes or to get the care you need, call the office nearest you or book an appointment through our website today.
We offer treatment for shoulder pain, shoulder injury, knee pain, ACL Reconstruction surgery, and more. Call us to book your appointment today.