Classic Sports Injuries to The Shoulder

For many sports involving overhead motions that can position the shoulder at the far end of its motion range, it’s no wonder that shoulder injuries are so frequent among athletes. For instance, up to 50% of NCAA college football players have a history of shoulder injury, which accounts for between 10-20% of overall sport injuries. Looking at American¬†college quarterbacks, one study showed that shoulder injuries accounted for more than half of player injuries at the position. If it comes to sport-related shoulder injuries, there are the three most prevalent (and sometimes co-occur to exacerbate matters):

1) SLAP (or labrum) tears: Superior (top) Labral tear from Anterior (front) to Posterior (back) tears is a term used to describe a torn piece of cartilage on the socket ‘s rim. The labrum adds depth to the cup which helps stabilise the socket ball. Individuals with a SLAP tear will frequently experience a lack of mobility and control, a sensation as if their shoulder may fall out of the socket, and a deep ache that is difficult to recognise while attempting overhead mobility.

2) Instability of the shoulder or dislocation: the risk of a collision with contact activities that will dislocate the shoulder joint ball (the end of the humerus bone) from the shoulder socket. Since the muscles at the front of the shoulder appear to be broader and heavier, dislocation in that direction may occur more often. Symptoms can include a severe, sudden initial pain followed by short bursts of pain as well as swelling and a noticeable deformity in the appearance of the shoulder.

3) Rotator cuff tears (RCTs): This is typical in sports involving constant overhead activity such as baseball (particularly pitchers), swimming and tennis. Symptoms include a deep ache, difficult to find, fatigue, and restricted range of motion (especially overhead or backwards).

Fast / timely diagnosis usually provides the best outcomes. Although there are cases where a timely surgical operation is required, recommendations for recovery typically prioritise non-surgical treatments with surgery first only when all possible choices are exhausted.

Osteopathic treatment of these disorders will include a multi-modal rehabilitation approach involving manual strengthening and activation of various muscles, neck and mid back of the shoulder; detailed guidelines for shoulder exercise; physical therapy modalities (ice, electrical shock, ultrasound, pulsed magnetic field, and more); plus nutritional guidance.

For any injuries or physical issues, you may feel the need for treatment, we are a family run business operating in Glasgow and Ayr. Please book online here