Stand up, and take a big stretch. You might not have noticed, but you probably stretched the muscles of your shoulder while reaching up – which, surprisingly enough, is the first step you should take in protecting your shoulder, especially if you play a contact sport. Stretching shouldn’t be where exercise for your shoulder ends, and even without the benefit of contact sports, it’s an important step in caring for your shoulders.
Located in sunny Los Angeles, California, LA Orthopaedic Specialists is home to our team of experienced and compassionate medical professionals who understand the importance of protecting your shoulders. Shoulder injuries, like back and neck injuries, can be exacerbated by normal wear-and-tear if left untreated, compromising your overall health and your day-to-day comfort.
What can happen to my shoulder?
Our shoulders are the reason that our arms have a wide range of motion. Shoulders enable us to spin our arms in a circle and move our arms in any way that helps us to maintain balance as we walk or run.
Our shoulders are a joint meeting of the shoulder blade, clavicle, and humerus, or funny bone. This joint is surrounded by muscles, for strength, and ligaments, for stability. Though this is a strong joint that supports security and fluid motion, it can be vulnerable to injuries and disorders, particularly from overuse and impact.
Despite the mental and physical health benefits of playing sports, contact sports can sometimes leave you in pain. Shoulders can suffer dislocation, rotator cuff tears, become unstable, and ligaments can tear. However, shoulder injury doesn’t have to be inevitable; there are a number of ways to protect your shoulders if you play a contact sport.
What are three ways to protect my shoulder in contact sports?
Shoulder injuries can be painful, prohibitive, and long-lasting. Even though our providers at LA Orthopaedic Specialists are happy to help you heal, they would prefer that you don’t experience the pain in the first place. Avoid injuring your shoulder with a few helpful tips:
Wear protective gear
Protective gear is a necessary advantage to anyone who plays a contact sport. In football, massive shoulder pads create a player’s signature shape. Whether you have shoulder pads, or another type of protective padding, it’s essential that the gear fits you properly, and is secured to your body.
Without proper use, including tying ties snugly and making sure that you’re wearing the pads properly, your protective gear might not be as effective against impact sustained.
Do your stretching
This could be said of any injury resulting from exercise, but stretching continues to be one of the most important steps in your exercise routine. Hold each stretch for 15-20 seconds, and stretch deeply. If you aren’t sure which specific threats are best for your shoulder before playing a contact sport, you have several resources: your doctor, a physical therapist, senior athletes, and sports medicine specialists all have ideas that can protect your health.
Listen to your body
If something isn’t right or is hurting, you will be the first to know. With any shoulder injury, the first symptom is almost always pain, though stiffness could quickly affect you, as well. It’s important to take your pain seriously, so if you play your sport and your body feels uncomfortable, alert your coach, and call your provider at LA Orthopaedic Specialists.
Help! My shoulder hurts.
If your shoulder hurts, you’re far from alone. Shoulder pain affects at least 2 million people each year in the US alone. The key to resolving most types of pain is early treatment. Particularly in the case of athletes who play contact sports, lack of proper treatment combined with continued play could result in a permanent injury that causes periodic pain. This doesn’t have to be the case. Call our office for an appointment at 213-455-8448, or use our online booking system.