How to Prevent Shoulder Injuries in Summer Sports

It’s the time of the year when golfers, swimmers, tennis players, and baseball players get back into the swing of things. Whether you play for fun or compete at a more competitive level, these sports heavily rely on the shoulders and most athletes don’t think twice about injury prevention until an actual injury occurs.

Because the shoulder is one of the most complex joints in the body it’s easily susceptible to injury. The shoulder is made up of more than 30 muscles and six ligaments, allowing it to move in more than 1,500 different positions. This flexibility and high range of motion certainly comes with risk.

Shoulder pain isn’t just a commonly reported problem amongst athletes. The general population tends to have shoulder issues, although non-sports-related injuries are typically reported by older adults. There are many occupations that require overhead activity – moving the arm from below to above shoulder level. If you’ve had to work in a position that requires a lot of movement in the arms, you’re likely at an increased risk for shoulder pain.

Injury Prevention Tips

While shoulder injuries are common, many can be avoided if specific precautions are followed. For example, athletes can reduce their risk for injury if they are screened by an experienced orthopedist or physical therapist before the start of the season. Such preventive measures should examine the following:

  • Flexibility
  • Sports-specific technique
  • Overall general strength

Avoiding improper workouts is another preventive step you can take to lower your risk for shoulder injuries. Whether it’s muscles being overworked or having poor form in the gym, strength training is often a cause of shoulder pain. If you enjoy strength training or it’s a part of your routine sports regimen, you should consult of a personal trainer to ensure you’re using correct form.

Rest is another preventative step you can take to reduce shoulder injuries. Shoulders have a reputation for getting overworked, and it doesn’t take much to do it. Be mindful of how much activity your shoulders receive, and when you feel discomfort, stop immediately.

Since the shoulder is one of the most heavily used joints in the body, an injury can significantly affect your daily life. Simple activities can become painful and difficult, and you’ll do whatever it takes to get rid of the pain. For more information or to schedule an appointment, please contact us at 352-556-4823.

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