One of the most common types of injuries when playing sports is a shoulder injury.
Sports is a great pastime activity that helps us stay fit and heathy. Whether you play sports professionally, recreationally, or just occasionally, it’s essential to understand what kinds of shoulder injuries an athlete can get so you can safeguard against them.
Here are the most common sports-related shoulder injuries
Rotator Cuff Injuries – The rotator cuff is a group of shoulder muscles and tendons that work together with the shoulder bones. When a rotator cuff injury happens, one or more of the four muscles and their tendons get damaged. Rotator cuff injuries are a common sports-related shoulder injury because it typically happens in a single, forceful accident. A bad fall, blunt force application, or lifting a very heavy item can all cause a rotator cuff injury. When a rotator cuff injury happens, it can cause pain, tenderness, and weakness in the shoulder.
Fractures – A common sports-related injury is a shoulder fracture. A fracture happens when a bone breaks because more pressure is put on the bone than it can handle. Shoulder fractures often happen at the end of the humerus (upper arm bone) or glenoid cavity of the shoulder blade. Athletes who play sports that involve tackling or forceful falls run a high risk of shoulder fractures. The most common symptoms of a shoulder fracture are intense shoulder pain, swelling, discoloration, difficulty moving the shoulder, and a shoulder that appears deformed.
Dislocation – A dislocation happens when a bone moves out of its natural place. For the shoulder, it means the upper arm bone has popped out of the socket located in the shoulder blade. Shoulder dislocations are common among many sports, including hockey and football. Any sport or activity that has a high chance of falling on the shoulder in a sudden and forceful way includes a high risk of shoulder dislocation. The most common symptoms of a dislocated shoulder are intense pain, swelling, and a shoulder that appears deformed.
Impingement – A common sports-related shoulder injury is impingement (sometimes called swimmer’s shoulder). This happens when there is excessive rubbing of rotator cuff tendons against the shoulder blade. Impingement can occur when a sport involves repetitive over-the-head arm movements. The most common symptoms are inflammation and pain in the shoulders. If left untreated, impingement can lead to other serious injuries.
You can do many things to reduce your risk of developing a sports-related shoulder injury. Here are some steps you can take to keep your shoulders healthy.
- Do stretches and warm-ups – Doing stretches and warm-ups helps heat up and stretch your shoulder’s muscles, tendons, and ligaments. This can help make your body more flexible so you can take on pressure, force, and sudden movements better while playing sports.
- Wear proper sports equipment – It’s essential to wear appropriate sports gear and attire when playing any sport. This can help protect you from injury.
- Recognize your body’s signs – If you experience pain or swelling in your shoulders, it’s time to slow down. Don’t ignore signs of injury and seek medical attention as soon as possible. Letting minor injuries fester can make them worse over time.
If you are an avid sports enthusiast and want to learn more about sports-related injuries or have a shoulder injury that needs treatment, make an appointment with Dr. James Talkington of Florida Sports Medicine & Orthopaedics. Dr. Talkington has a wealth of knowledge and experience treating sports-related orthopedic injuries and conditions. Call (850) 763-0346 to make an appointment today. You can also request an appointment online.