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Shoulder Injuries In Sport
The shoulder is one of the most common sites of sport injuries in the body. Even professional sportsmen and women are not immune to damaging the muscles and joints of this region.
The shoulder joint complex is actually made up of four joints: the glenohumeral joint (the 'ball-and-socket' joint between the upper arm or humerus and the shoulder blade or scapula), the acromio-clavicular joint (between the lateral end of the collar bone or clavicle and the scapula), the sternoclavicular joint (between the medial end of the clavicle and the breast bone or sternum) and the scapulo-thoracic joint (the 'virtual' joint between the undersurface of the scapula and the chest wall).
Problems anywhere in this region can result in loss of full functionality of the shoulder, and consequently, pain.
When it comes to chronic (ongoing) shoulder pain, this is most often caused by repetitive overhead activity. Sports such as tennis, with serving and smashing movements as well as freestyle or butterfly swimming, javelin throwing, or bowling in cricket are all examples of sporting activities which can result in chronic pain in the shoulder region.
The most common site from which this type of pain emanates is the rotator cuff muscles. These consist of four muscles, namely the subscapularis, the teres minor, the infraspinatus and the supraspinatus.
This group of muscles is positioned around the shoulder joint. They are small, but vital in their function which is to keep the shoulder joint stable during arm movements. In other words they keep the 'ball' in the 'socket'.
Shoulder strengthening exercises go a long way to helping sports participators from picking up injuries to these muscles.
Frozen shoulder can develop after a shoulder is injured, for example in sport, and thereafter immobilized for a period of time. The symptoms include a persistent dull ache which is worse with movement, over the outer shoulder and sometimes upper arm as well. Eventually movement becomes severely restricted even when someone else attempts to mobilize the shoulder manually. One of the best ways to prevent this is to include early motion of the shoulder following injury, preferably under the direction of a physiotherapist.
There is a wide range of specific shoulder injuries which sports participants can inflict on themselves during sports.
If you have pain and / or weakness in the arm following any strain to the shoulder area, you may well have sustained an injury and should seek prompt medical attention.
The earlier a shoulder injury is treated, the better. The first 48 to 72 hours are crucial to a complete and speedy recovery. While waiting to see a medic use the ‘R.I.C.E.’ regime. Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation.
Thereafter, in conjunction with the advice from your health-care professional, you need to increase blood flow to the injured area.
This can be done with heat – heat lamps are the most effective but you can try heat-based creams or hot-water bottles too.
Massage is very effective in increasing blood flow to an injured area, helping reduce associated scar tissue.
Remember - don't stop moving. Gentle movement will help to keep the blood flowing to the injured area, but don’t overdo it if it is very painful.
Most shoulder injuries can be prevented if proper warming up procedures and correct techniques specific to the sport are followed.
About the Author: Joy-Anne is an experienced writer aboutshoulder problems, who has written for the health industry for the past decade. Her years of writing for popular shoulder surgery portals, have made her a trusted and respected source in the health world.