Skip to content

The Most Common Sports Related Shoulder Injury


The shoulder is one of the most complex and mobile joints in the body. While this allows us a wide range of motion and flexibility, it also makes it very susceptible to injury. Although shoulders can be injured doing pretty much anything, the most common way is when you are playing sports like tennis or volleyball. The rapid, repetitive, and abrupt movements can suddenly overburden your shoulder and cause a lot of pain and discomfort.

The most commonly injured part of the shoulder is the rotator cuff, which is the group of muscles that is holding the upper arm and the shoulder joint together. Typically, shoulder pain is caused by inflammation, swelling, pinching, or tears in the muscles and tendons in the rotator cuff. If you are suffering from shoulder pain for more than a day, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible. Your chiropractor can help evaluate your condition and determine further treatment based on the severity of your injury. The treatment may include icing and rehabilitative exercises to help reduce inflammation and restore strength to your shoulder. If this doesn’t help, your doctor might recommend an MRI to get a closer look at the problem and help determine how to proceed with your care.

If you would like to try to avoid a rotator cuff injury, there are some exercises you can do to increase flexibility and strengthen your shoulder.

For increased flexibility, try holding a towel behind your back so that it is in a vertical position (one arm is going over the shoulder, one from under). Then, try walking your fingers together or gently pull from either direction, until you feel the most restricted motion. Hold that position for 15 to 30 seconds and repeat it 3 times.

To strengthen the shoulder muscles try some cable exercises with light weight. Do 10 to 12 repetitions for each of these exercises.

Internal Rotation: stand with your lifting arm closest to the cable machine, with your elbow flexed to 90-degrees. Rotate your hand from outside to inwards, bringing your hand towards your belly.

External Rotation: switch positions so that your lifting arm is farthest from the cable machine. Keep your elbow bent at 90-degrees and rotate your hand outwards from your abdomen.

Scapular Plane Elevation: similar to a lateral shoulder fly, you lift your arm upwards on an angle 30-degrees forward of the frontal plane. Prevent your shoulder blade from hiking up towards your ear.

Hopefully some of these exercises can help you avoid shoulder injury, although in some situations even increased strength and flexibility can’t prevent it. It is important to get a shoulder injury checked out if the pain is excruciating or if it lasts more than a day. If you leave it unattended you might be at risk for developing other conditions down the road.

Add Your Comment (Get a Gravatar)

Your Name


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *.