You in Motion

Preventing Shoulder Injuries Among Athletes


Athletes of all ages and ability levels often spend the off-seasons training, practicing, lifting, and preparing for the next sports season. Though this may seem like a harmless attempt to improve and grow stronger, pushing too hard can cause an athlete overuse and shoulder injuries.

For athletes in baseball, softball, volleyball, swimming, basketball, football, and wrestling, overuse injuries of the shoulder are becoming increasingly more common.

“Year-round training can be damaging to an athlete's muscles and joints,” explains Dr. Andrew M. Blecher, sports medicine doctor at Southern California Orthopedic Institute. “As opposed to playing the same sport year-round, athletes can stay in shape and stay safe by cross training or focusing on a different sport during the off-season.”

During the season, the sports medicine doctors at Southern California Orthopedic Institute suggest the following guidelines to keep your shoulders injury free:

  • Perform thorough stretching and warm-up exercises prior to each practice, game, and workout. This should include practicing overhead motion that gradually increases in intensity.

  • Practice and play in several different positions. This will ease the stress of repetitive motion placed on specific muscles and ligaments.

  • Don’t pitch on consecutive days and ensure that when pitching, you master your form and focus on mechanics, control, and accuracy rather than speed.

  • Ensure that you’ve mastered the necessary skills before moving on to more advanced drills or trying a new form or style.

If you are experiencing shoulder pain or discomfort, contact the sports medicine doctors at Southern California Orthopedic Institute by calling (877) 952-8484.


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