Shoulder Injuries & Treatments
The shoulder is one of the most mobile joints in the body and works on a ball and socket joint that moves every time you move your arm. It is made up of three bones, along with several muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Since the shoulder also has a very low stability threshold, it can become injured very easily.
Types of Shoulder Conditions:
Inflammation (bursitis or tendinitis) or tendon tear
Fractures (broken bone)
Acute injuries are those that occur as a result of a sudden force, abnormal twisting, or bending of the shoulder. This often occurs during sports activities, work related tasks, or during a fall. Individuals who experience this type of injury will usually know exactly when the injury happened, which is often described as sudden pain accompanied by a clicking or popping sensation. Bruising and swelling may also develop shortly after the injury. Shoulder dislocations, AC joint injuries, Rotator cuff tears, Glenoid labrum tears, and Clavicle fractures fall into the acute shoulder injury category.
Treatment of an acute injury should involve immediate rest and the application of cold therapy, in the form of an ice pack or wrap. Taking the weight of the arm off the shoulder using a sling may also be recommended. Always consult your physician to determine the severity of the injury and the appropriate type of treatment.
Overuse injuries are injuries which cause shoulder pain to develop over time, gradually becoming worse until the individual seeks medical attention. Most sufferers cannot recall a specific incident which caused the pain and often times the exact area of pain is not easy to identify. Overuse injuries are usually related to poor posture, poor sporting technique (or any other activity), or a combination of both. Bursitis, Impingement syndromes, arthritis, and rotator cuff tendinopathy are all considered overuse injuries.
The treatment of an overuse injury can be difficult when compared to an acute injury. Initially the participation in the aggravating activity should be paused to allow the tissues time to rest. Soft tissue treatments and electrotherapy may also be used to reduce pain and inflammation, as well as breaking down scar tissue and increasing muscle flexibility.
Once pain and inflammation have subsided, an exercise rehabilitation program will usually be implemented to address any postural problems and muscle imbalances which may have contributed to the injury. Additional circumstances such as poor technique, training errors and unsuitable equipment should also be corrected.
Sample of Treatment Products:
The LP Neoprene Shoulder Support 732 is designed to provide therapeutic heat to an injured or overused shoulder joint. This brace is made from stretchy nylon and a neoprene foam, created for the specific purpose of keeping the joint warm and flexible as it heals. As the heat is applied, the brace provides support and compression to keep the joint stable and prevent re-injury.
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The McDavid Shoulder Support is designed to relieve sprains, strains, bursitis and tendonitis. Its removable strap can be applied in various locations to limit range-of-motion and speed recovery. This support also offers the ability to add AC joint pockets that can be used for ice and heat therapy, or additional padding.
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Bauerfeind OmoTrain S Shoulder Brace provides secure support for the shoulder joint and promotes mobility in order to restore function. The compression knit material and removable massage pad help massage the soft tissue, to relieve pain and activate the muscles that stabilize the joint.
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American College of Emergency Physicians
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases