Your shoulders move almost all the time – during daily activities, at work, and when exercising or participating in sports. You stretch, rotate, and stress your shoulders every time you lift something, reach for something, throw a ball, or swing a club. A healthy shoulder has a great range of motion, but once any sort of injury occurs the game changes.
The shoulder is the body’s most injured joint. The most common injuries are from repetitive motions, and are often work, sport or hobby related. Repeatedly throwing pitches, lifting heavy boxes, or even painting ceilings can cause shoulder injuries.
Shoulder pain can be caused by arthritis (damage to the cartilage that pad your shoulder joints), bursitis (swelling of the fluid filled cushions around your shoulder joints) rotator cuff damage (tearing of the muscles and tendons that connect your shoulder joints), frozen shoulder (thickening of the capsule of connective tissue holding your shoulder together) and dislocation (when your joint disconnects, and your limb comes out of its socket).
You can help prevent shoulder injuries by doing the following:
- Pay attention to pain. The saying “no pain no gain” is a misnomer and can cause you to push past your limits instead of just expanding them. If you’re hurt, and the pain doesn’t go away or returns consistently, see your doctor.
- Stay healthy. Working out should always be accompanied by a good nutrition, hydration, and supplement program designed by your doctor.
- Exercise properly. Warm up and cool down, always remember to stretch, and account for changes in temperature and workout terrain to compensate.
- Work smart and safe. Follow rules for safe lifting, change positions often, and keep good posture.
- Ask for help. If you are having trouble reaching something on a high shelf, get someone to help or grab a stool. Don’t strain your shoulder by hyperextending.
Fortunately, shoulder problems often can be fixed without surgery or with a minimally invasive procedure. Ask Strasburger Orthopaedics about ways to heal your shoulder or address shoulder pain without invasive surgery. We may recommend arthroscopic surgery, physical therapy, PRP injections to speed healing, or simple rest, ice and heat applied as ordered to allow you to recuperate and regain strength and mobility.
If you do end up needing surgery, Dr. Strasburger will strive to restore you to not only as good as your shoulder was before, but better than it ever was. You can regain your range of motion and enjoy normal activities pain free.