MedStar Health is pleased to offer shoulder injury prevention for patients in and around the D.C. region. Our experienced physicians offer you the comprehensive care you need for an effective recovery from shoulder injuries, as well as the steps you need to take to prevent future injuries. Our doctors are fellowship-trained and specialize exclusively in caring for upper extremity joint conditions and injuries.

Are shoulder injuries preventable?

Anyone can suffer a shoulder injury, but those who have had prior shoulder injuries or shoulder dislocations are especially prone to future shoulder problems. Whether you’ve had a history of shoulder problems or not, it is important to practice injury prevention. Before hitting the greens, tennis court, or swimming pools, consider these tips to help prevent shoulder injuries.

Practice proper technique

Learn and practice the proper technique for your sport. Shoulder pain often originates from an improper technique. Always ensure that you understand the fundamentals of how to properly perform overhead movements before beginning a new sport. Even if you don’t feel pain during the activity, improper technique can result in serious problems over time.

Ease into exercise

Warm up with light activity such as jogging in place or jumping rope for several minutes. Then stretch your shoulders and the other muscles you’ll be using. Try this shoulder stretch:

Lace your fingers together, and then push your arms over your head with your palms facing up. Hold 15 seconds. Repeat 5-10 times.

Be certain to always stretch both before and after you’ve finished exercising to keep your muscles from shortening and cramping.

Strengthen your muscles and stabilize your core

Building the muscles in your wrists, arms, neck, and back helps protect your shoulders. When the muscles surrounding the shoulder are strong, there’s less stress on the shoulder itself. In addition, it’s important to have a stable core, as your core provides support for your shoulder.

Don’t ignore the symptoms of a shoulder injury

If you have any of the following symptoms, you may be experiencing a shoulder injury:

  • Chronic shoulder pain
  • Painful popping, clicking, or catching in the shoulder
  • Weakness or instability in the shoulder
  • Pain when you lift your arm over your head or make a throwing motion
  • Decreased range of motion in the arm

Never ignore pain or try to continue playing a sport through a shoulder injury. Doing so can aggravate the condition and cause more problems. See a doctor if symptoms persist or if your pain is severe

What are the benefits of shoulder injury prevention?

If you suspect you have suffered a shoulder injury or have previously suffered an injury and want to learn more about prevention, visit a shoulder expert at MedStar Orthopedic Institute. Our shoulder specialists offer a wide range of shoulder injury treatments that may offer you the following benefits:

  • Improved shoulder strength and balance
  • Improved shoulder stability
  • Lowered risk of shoulder injury
  • Improved range of motion