Thursday, February 25, 2010

Ouch--shoulder injuries hurt

While shoulders can go out of joint and have to be wrenched back in, they can also be “thrown out”—injured by too much ball throwing.

In baseball, especially, it’s easy to let youthful exuberance trump training and common sense.

You are not made if iron—even if you take part in Iron Men contests.

The shoulder has 1000 positions. Throwing a ball takes a lot of twisting force, which can tear the four muscles that form the rotator cuff. More than half of all professional and amateur pitchers sustain some sort of shoulder problem each year.

To prepared. Kevin D. Plancher, a sports med guy and associate clin prof of orthopaedics at Albert Einstein College of Med in NY, says to do some weight training to strengthen the muscles that stabilize the shoulder. Don’t use too much weight. Use the downward dumbbell raise or lateral fly and use an incline press, not a military press. Pros do this 3-4 times a week. Allow the body to rebuild in between.

The rotator cuff muscles are weak and small and get tired quickly.

Warm up first with some aerobic activity. Forward and backward arm circles and arm pumps are good.

Don’t overdo—don’t moonlight and pitch in several leagues.

When something hurts, don’t play through the pain. If a pain fails to improve within 24 hours, you hear a popping sound or you experience weakness, swelling, or fever—consult a doctor.

Most rotator injuries go away within 3-4 weeks with RICE. RICE stands for Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation.

If your shoulder should actually dislocate—the horrible pain and weird dented appearance will clue you in. This happened to my mother—awful. It’s ER time.

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