Shoulder injury? Here’s what to do

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Shoulder injuries are common in athletes and physically active individuals, especially those involved in activities that require repetitive arm motion. Problems in the shoulder usually involve the muscles, tendons, and ligaments and are grouped into two problem categories.

Two shoulder injury categories

-Instability: This occurs when one of the shoulder joints moves or is forced out of place, which can result in dislocation of one of the joints in the shoulder.

oSymptoms include pain when raising the arm and feeling as if the shoulder is slipping out of place when in motion

-Impingement: This occurs when the shoulder muscles excessively rub against the acromion, or the top portion of the shoulder blade. Impingement injuries usually occur with excessive overhead arm motion.

oSymptoms include pain with overhead arm motion, difficulty reaching behind back, and shoulder weakness

Rotator Cuff Injuries

The rotator cuff is made up of muscles and tendons in the shoulder, which help with shoulder movement and stability. The rotator cuff tendons can become inflamed from overuse or aging, and they can even tear from repeated overhead motion or serious falls.

Treatment options for shoulder injuries

-Rest

-Ice to reduce swelling and heat after swelling is down

-Anti-inflammatory medication to reduce swelling and pain

-Physical therapy

-Exercises to build shoulder strength

-Cortisone injections

-Surgery if condition does not improve