You can move your shoulders in just about any direction, making them your most flexible joints. You use them for everything, from throwing a baseball to reaching up high on the top shelf. Unfortunately, shoulder injuries are common due to their mobility and the strain that can come with certain activities. Up front, it is impossible to avoid all shoulder injuries. The good news is you can reduce your chances of experiencing them with a few prevention techniques.
Here’s a comprehensive guide to injury prevention.
1. Warm Up Before Activity
It is important to warm up before engaging in any activity that requires using your shoulders.
It will help increase circulation to the area and loosen up your muscles, preparing them for movement.
A few arm circles and stretches are a great way to start. You can also try shoulder shrugs or small arm swings to increase mobility.
2. Strengthen Your Shoulders
Engaging in shoulder-specific exercises can help strengthen the muscles that support your shoulders and reduce the risk of injury. You can try using a resistance band or free weights.
Start out slow and gradually increase the weight or resistance levels over time. This will help you ensure proper form is being used.
3. Use Proper Form
When performing activities that involve your shoulders, it is important to remember proper form and technique.
For example, keep your elbows close to your body when doing a press-up. This will reduce strain on your shoulder joints and help prevent injury.
Also, engage your core and keep your back straight when lifting or carrying heavy objects. This will reduce the strain on your shoulders.
After any activity, it is important to stretch your shoulder muscles to avoid tightness or soreness the next day.
You can try shoulder rolls, arm circles, and other stretches that target your shoulders. Doing a few stretching exercises a few times a week can reduce your risk of injury.
You can try these stretches:
Seated Shoulder Stretch
Sit up tall on the floor or in a chair and clasp your hands behind your back. Gently pull your arms away from each other, feeling a stretch in your shoulders.
Stand in a doorway with one hand against the door frame. Stretch your arm outward until it is parallel to the ground. Keep it there for a few seconds.
Stand in front of a wall and put the palms of your hands on the wall at shoulder height. Slowly slide them up as far as you can before sliding back down.
5. Wear Protective Gear
Wear the appropriate protective gear when participating in contact sports or activities. This includes shoulder pads, elbow pads, and wrist guards.
The added protection will help reduce your risk of injury in case of an impact or fall.
6. Listen to Your Body
Listen to your body and know when to take a break. Stop if something feels off or painful in any way. Then, assess the issue.
If you repeatedly engage in activities that cause pain or discomfort, take a break and reassess your technique. Pay attention to any signs of fatigue and rest when needed.
7. See a Shoulder Surgeon
It is best to see a shoulder surgeon if your shoulder is not functioning properly. You should also visit one if you are experiencing any pain. They can assess the situation and provide you with tailored treatment and advice.
A shoulder surgeon can also help you identify injury prevention methods specific to your situation.
Shoulder surgeons specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of shoulder-related issues. So, they have the expertise needed to help you get back on track.
Common Shoulder Injuries & Treatments
They can help with many shoulder injuries like:
- Rotator cuff injury – damage to the muscles or tendons that connect your shoulder blade to your arm
- Labral tear – a tear in the cartilage ring around the socket of your shoulder joint
- Shoulder instability – when your upper arm bone is not held in place properly by the ligaments and muscles of your shoulder
- Frozen shoulder – when the stiffness and pain of your shoulder joint become unbearable
Depending on your injury, your shoulder surgeon may recommend treatments such as:
- Physical therapy – exercises that reduce pain and strengthen the muscles in and around your shoulder joint
- Corticosteroid injections – these can help reduce inflammation and irritation of the shoulder joint
- Surgery – if there is substantial damage to the ligaments, tendons, or muscles within the shoulder
Top Shoulder Surgeon Near You in Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Dr. Paul Meli at Paul Meli Orthopedic Surgery provides expert treatment for shoulder pain and injuries. Dr. Meli offers the most advanced non-surgical and surgical treatments for shoulder issues and has performed over 15,000 shoulder surgeries in his career. Dr. Meli has also treated over 200,000 patients, which speaks to his high level of experience and great word-of-mouth recommendations in Fort Lauderdale.
For shoulder pain due to a sports injury or work-related accident, choose Dr. Meli. We see our patients in our state-of-the-art facility at Cypress Creek Medical Center. To schedule an appointment, call our office today at (954) 324-7711, or use our convenient online request form.