“Go get your arm warmed up!” This is a phrase I hear all the time for overhead athlete sports, whether it’s the relief pitcher in baseball, the center fielder in softball, the ACE server in volleyball, or the star QB. This is solid advice; it’s never a good idea to go into aggressive overhead activity without a proper warm-up, but what makes a good warm-up? That can be a very loaded question! Fortunately, by understanding the anatomy of the shoulder and the requirement by its muscles to work optimally overhead, it can be simple to get an athlete ready for action and, more importantly, lower their risk for injury.
Contrary to what the snow on the ground has told you, spring sports are ramping up at the high school level across the states. And we all know what that means- beginning of season aches and pains. I’ll let you in on a little secret, we athletic trainers see a lot of the same injuries year after year at this time.
In the first few weeks of spring sports, there is a rise in visitors to the Athletic Training Room for overuse injuries. Let’s dig into some of the most common overuse injuries we see in spring and ways to prevent or manage them.
The rotator cuff is a hot topic when it comes to shoulder injuries. A rotator cuff is an important group of four muscles that help move the shoulder to perform activities of daily living. Damage to one or more of the rotator cuff muscles can become a source of pain, reduced range of motion, reduced strength, or overall function. It is important to keep this muscle group strong to minimize injury and recover from a shoulder injury. Let’s look at some exercises that you can do at home to strengthen the rotator cuff.
The rotator cuff is made up of four small muscles that surround the shoulder joint. These muscles work as stabilizers to keep the ball of the humerus (which is the long bone in the upper arm) in the right position at the center of the shoulder joint.
The rotator cuff is responsible for allowing your shoulder to move in multiple directions. The rotator cuff is responsible for internally, externally, and abducting the shoulder on the humerus or major bone that forms the arm. These muscles play a major role in moving the entire complex of the shoulder. (more…)
Before working as a clinical massage therapist in the physical therapy field, I had no idea how many people were walking around with shoulder pain and decreased range of motion in their shoulders. Now I find myself working on just as many shoulders as I do backs and necks. This blog post will give you the basics on shoulder pain/dysfunction and how massage therapy can help. (more…)
It’s baseball and softball season and that means three things to me as an athletic trainer: hot dogs, bleachers and shoulder pain. While all three of those cause discomfort in their own way, I find shoulder pain to be the most pertinent to be addressed by my skill set. I’ve found that a majority of shoulder pain stems from a few of the following avoidable mistakes made by overhead athletes. (more…)