If you engage in physical activity, whether occasionally or regularly, you run the risk of a sports injury. Of the roughly 30 million kids and teens who participate in an organized sport, 3.5 million injuries are reported each year in the US. And that doesn’t include the many adults who are injured while playing a sport or even simply strolling around their neighborhood or playing catch with their dog.
Shoulder-related sports injuries are especially common in activities that rely on upper body motion and strength, such as bowling, racquetball, volleyball, tennis, and swimming. Thankfully, you can take steps to lower your risk for these injuries.
Genesis Regenerative Sports and Aesthetic Medicine treats a broad range of sports injuries, including those that affect the shoulder. Read on to learn about some of the most powerful preventive measures we recommend taking.
Don’t forget to stretch
Rotator cuff injuries are among the most common shoulder injuries, especially if you participate in sports that utilize your shoulders for years or decades on end. These injuries affect the muscles and tendons that hold the ball of your shoulder joint in place and provide stability and range of motion. Stretching before and after playing sports such as tennis, baseball, and volleyball can help lower your risk for this type of damage by keeping them more nimble.
An example of a useful shoulder stretch is the crossover arm stretch. To perform it, hold one arm across your chest (without locking it) and keep it there with your opposite hand for five seconds. Then switch to the other arm.
Increase and maintain shoulder strength
One of the best ways to prevent shoulder sports injuries is to increase the strength of your rotator cuff and then maintain that strength consistently. That doesn’t mean you have to lift heavy weights for hours on end; in fact, that could work against you. Even simple exercise performed most days can go a long way in strengthening your tendons and muscles.
Exercises such as arm circles, strength-focused yoga, and pushups can help you build and maintain strength. Meanwhile, aim for proper form and seek guidance if you’re not clear on how to go about it. Proper form helps ensure positive strength-building results while guarding against shoulder injuries.
Don’t overdo it
Allowing your shoulder muscles to rest and avoiding over-exercise are just as important as taking steps to build and maintain shoulder strength. Over-exercise can cause inflammation in tissues that connect your bones and muscles, in your shoulders, and other body areas. Such injuries tend to worsen over time, especially if you continue to over exert yourself, raising the risk of complications. You can also develop overtraining syndrome by training too hard, a condition marked by decreased motivation, fatigue, perpetual soreness, and poor exercise performance.
Treatment for shoulder injuries
If you do develop a shoulder-related sports injury, a range of available treatments can help. Our specialists will help determine your best treatment plan, based on the type and severity of your injury. Some of the options we provide at Genesis Regenerative Sports and Aesthetic Medicine include:
- Bone marrow aspirate concentrate (BMAC) stem cell injections
- Lipogems® adipose fat stem cell injections
- Physical therapy
- Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections
- Orthovisc® viscosupplementation injections
- TenJet® percutaneous tenotomy
- Trigger point injections
- Ultrasound-guided tendon and joint injections
If you notice signs of a potential shoulder injury, pause your activity and seek medical care. The sooner you get support, the more likely you’ll be to have a swift-as-possible and full recovery. To learn more or schedule an appointment, call Genesis Regenerative Sports and Aesthetic Medicine or use our online booking feature today.