Many of the patients I see with shoulder pain have injured themselves as the result of strenuous, weight-bearing exercise. As high impact, strength-related exercise programs have increased in popularity, many people are putting too much weight on their shoulder joints. While the benefits of exercise are indisputable, it is important to understand how the shoulder works and how best to avoid injuring this delicate joint.
The shoulder is built for range of motion rather than stability. It is a ball-and-socket joint held in place by a thin sleeve of muscles and tendons called the rotator cuff. Excessive weight on the shoulder can damage the cuff as well as other soft tissues around the joint. Exercise programs that work the large chest and back muscles should also include exercises with light weight or elastic bands for the smaller rotator cuff muscles.
If you feel shoulder pain when exercising or playing sports, DO NOT WORK THROUGH THE PAIN. Rest your shoulder for two weeks and take over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication such as ibuprofen, if necessary. If, after two weeks, you return to your activity and still feel pain, you should consult an orthopedist.
Repetitive or continuous use of the shoulder at a young age can lead to injury. Children under the age of 16 should avoid playing any single sport for more than 8 months of the year, especially swimming, baseball or tennis, to prevent shoulder overuse. Heavy weight training is also a potential cause of injury.
Danbury Orthopedics, a member practice of OrthoConnecticut, offers an expert group of orthopedic specialists, including a team of sports medicine doctors who work with sports-related injuries and conditions of all kinds. The practice has its own x-ray, MRI and on-site physical therapy specialists, allowing patients to recover in one single, integrated location. All the practice’s physicians are fellowship-trained, and experts in their specialty area.
Danbury Orthopedics’ areas of expertise include five Centers of Excellence where you will find integrated comprehensive treatment for bone or joint pain injury and subspecialized orthopedic surgery to get you back to leading a healthy active life. These include:
- The Foot & Ankle Center– surgical and non-surgical treatments, bracing and orthotics
- The Hand Center– specialized care for the upper extremities from elbow to finger tips
- The Total Joint Center– covering hip & knee and shoulder & elbow
- The Spine Center – specializing in minimally invasive surgery and nonsurgical treatments
- The Sports Medicine Center– for the recreational, competitive and professional athlete
All of Danbury Orthopedics’ services are available at our new state-of-the-art location at 2 Riverview Drive in the Berkshire Corporate Park in Danbury. For more information, go to: www.DOrtho.com
Dr. Albert Diaz, who is a fluent Spanish speaker, specializes in the field of sports medicine, and minimally invasive, arthroscopic shoulder and knee surgery. He completed his sports medicine fellowship at the Minneapolis Sports Medicine Center, where he served as Assistant Team Physician to the Minnesota Vikings and Timberwolves. He currently serves as Team Physician for Joel Barlow High School in Redding. He is board certified by the American Board of Orthopedic Surgery and is a member of the American Orthopedic Society for Sports Medicine, the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons and the Arthroscopy Association of North America.