Shoulder injuries can have a haunting affect on your daily life. There’s nothing worse than dealing with the soreness of an aching shoulder down to your wrist. Until you realize all the uses your shoulder is good for, you may take it for granted until you have problems using it.
The most common shoulder injuries are caused by muscles, tendons, and ligaments, rather than the bones. The shoulder is really only made up of three bones: the scapula (shoulder blade), clavicle (collar bone), and humerus (upper arm bone) whereas there are nine ligaments, six tendons, and four main muscles that surround the tendons that make up the rotator cuff. The likelihood of a shoulder injury being caused by a bone would have to be a result of a direct blow of some sort.
Since there are so many options as to why a shoulder injury may be occurring, keep in mind that the most common source of pain is caused by the rotator cuff. Because your shoulder has such a wide range of motion, it is easy to exert it and cause tears, inflammation, and even dislocations.
Shoulder injuries are a common scene among athletes at any level of competition. Whether it is swimming or tackling someone on the football field, without proper technique and warm-up your shoulder will feel the effects.
If you ever wonder why softball pitchers can pitch everyday as opposed to baseball pitchers, it is because the natural throwing motion is underhand. Your shoulder absorbs minimal stress when throwing underhand as opposed to throwing a baseball overhand.
Having a shoulder injury is one thing. Treating it is another. Treatment should be done rather than trying to “play through it” as you could essentially cause more harm and longer recovery time to the shoulder.
If you are experiencing low to moderate level pain there are a few basic treatment options to follow.
RICE: Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation. This is beneficial to any joint that has pain associated with it. This is to be done in cycles as to get optimal results.
Elastic Bands: Attaching an elastic band to a doorknob can be used to do pull your forearm/wrist towards your body as you have your arm bent at a 90-degree angle and elbow securely tucked into your side.
Wall Push-Ups: Facing the wall with feet shoulder-width apart, perform a pushup and stopping when your arms and shoulders are at 90-degrees.
Shoulder Press-Ups: Sitting in a chair with feet flat on the floor and backs straight, lift your arms up into the air and back down again.
Doorway Stretches: Stand in a doorway and place both arms on the doorframe at 90-degrees. Hold it for 30 seconds and rest. Repeat three times and complete twice a day.
All other exercises should be done at about a 10-15 repetition max. Exceeding that will cause fatigue and poor form, which could lead to longer recovery time and the possibility of new injury occurring.
If your body needs more pressure applied, simply add weight that your body can handle without compromising form.
If none of these work over the course of a few weeks, or your injury is completely unbearable then you should see a licensed individual to help decide the best option for you. Whether it be more extensive therapy, cortisone shots, or surgery, only a licensed physician can determine that.