Whether you’re reaching for a book on the shelf, sitting at a desk or swinging a baseball bat, your shoulders are always at work.. It’s often easy to ignore shoulder soreness, but it’s important to take the time to care for your shoulders and be mindful of preventing injuries.
We’re here with expert advice from sports medicine orthopedic surgeon, Matthew Moralle, MD, who explains how shoulders are most commonly injured, how to avoid those injuries and how to best heal if you do find yourself with a shoulder injury.
Ways You Can Injure Your Shoulders
“The most common shoulder injuries occur from repetitive movements,” says Dr. Moralle. But he notes there are other ways you can hurt your shoulders too, such as:
- Age: natural wear and tear that comes with age can damage your shoulders
- Bursitis: the fluid-filled pads that cushion your joints get swollen
- Dislocation: when your upper arm bone comes out of the shoulder
- Frozen shoulder: when the connective tissue that holds your shoulders together thickens and tightens, restricting movement
- Osteoarthritis: the cartilage that protects your joints wears down
- Rotator cuff damage: injury to the rotator cuff, a group of muscles and tendons that keeps your shoulders together
3 Tips to Prevent Shoulder Injuries
Shoulder injuries can keep you from enjoying the important things in life, like picking up your grandkids or trying a new hobby. But there are things you can implement into your lifestyle to prevent injuries from occurring in the first place.
Here are some recommendations from Dr. Moralle to keep injuries away:
1. Always Warm Up Before Exercising
“Exercising while your muscles are still cold is a sure way to injure your shoulder. Start with shoulder stretches and a short cardio session to get your heart rate up. Take those extra 10 minutes to warm up properly and spare yourself an injury,” says Dr. Moralle.
2. Add Cross-Training to Your Workout Mix
According to Dr. Moralle, “Cross-training can look like mixing up the workouts you do. This is especially important for athletes who spend a lot of time making overhead motions.
3. Increase Shoulder Strength
“Lifting and exercising using proper form to strengthen your shoulders can help stabilize the joints,” says Dr. Moralle.
Always talk to your primary care doctor before beginning a strengthening program. They can help determine which exercises are best for you.
How to Recover from a Shoulder Injury
Dr. Moralle notes that “Sometimes, all it takes to mend an injured shoulder is rehabilitation and rest. But other times, you may need more concentrated help.”
Here are a few shoulder treatment options your doctor or physical therapist may recommend for you:
- Arthroscopic procedures
- Internal fixation procedures
- Reconstructive surgery
- Rest and physical therapy
- Should joint replacements
Count on Our Orthopedic Expertise to Help You Heal
Helping you understand your options and providing personalized orthopedic shoulder treatments is at the core of what we do. Our AdventHealth Zephyrhills orthopedic care team is here to help you regain your strength and confidence so that you can move forward with less pain and more ease.