How to Help Prevent One Of The Most Common Sports Injuries

Whether you’re a veteran at the gym, or you’re just beginning to get some exercise into your weekly routine, getting injured is the worst. Unfortunately, getting injuries is commonplace for many people, so never start thinking you’re the only one. And the most common injuries are actually related to your shoulders.

Usually, shoulder injuries occur whenever you do exercises or sports that require any sort of overhead movement, or weight lifting exercises such as bent-over rows. We wanted to go through how you can help prevent a shoulder injury, so that you can continue your healthy lifestyle uninterrupted…

How do shoulder injuries happen?

First, it’s important to understand why shoulder injuries are so common for anyone who exercises or takes part in sports regularly. The reason for this is because your shoulder joints are very complex, as they contain 4 different joints all working at once to give us the extensive range of arm movements we need. Think about it, thanks to these joints you can actually move your arm 180 degrees, which requires a lot of stability.

Unfortunately, all these complex joints and surrounding muscles can mean that your shoulder is quite susceptible to injury, with the most common one being an injury to your rotator-cuff. Your rotator-cuff essentially helps to stabilise your glenohumeral joint, the ball and socket, which keeps your arm connected to your shoulder blade. An acute injury can damage the rotator cuff, but so can repetitive movements, such as reaching overhead and swinging arm movements.

If progressive damage does occur, this can lead to pain lying on your side, reaching behind your back or while performing any sort of overhead movement. However, the good news is you can take steps to avoid sustaining this sort of injury.

Focus on your posture

When it comes to increasing your shoulder strength and movement and preventing injuries, your posture is particularly important. Many of us spend hours each day hunched over at our desks, or walking with bad posture. This leads to feelings of tightness around the chest, and can make your back muscles weaker.

Start focusing on your posture more throughout the day, and put yourself in a better upright position whenever possible. Whenever you’re sitting down, reposition yourself so that your ears are in line with your shoulder, and make sure your neck and back are in perfect alignment. Also, remember to position your shoulder blades so that they are draws back and down, which will keep your chest up and out, preventing rounded shoulders.

Certain exercises can also help to improve posture, such as shoulder shrugs, which involve raising and lowering your shoulders in a shrugging motion to help loosen them up. You could also try standing up against a wall with your legs spread apart. When you’re in this position, hold your arms up on either side of you at a right angle, then slowly raise your arms up and down.

Doing actions like this and focusing on how you’re sitting each day, will help to position your shoulder complex better so that when you go to move your arm, you’re putting less stress on the tissues.

Exercise your rotator cuff

There are certain exercises that target the muscles around the shoulder blade. Such as scapular retraction movements, which involve standing up with your elbows straight and your arms resting by your side. From here, squeeze your shoulder blades together. You can also perform this exercise while sitting down with your hands resting on your thighs.

Other exercises to try are those that require any external rotation, such as standing or sitting and placing your arms at a 90-degree angle with your elbow touching your body. Get a couple of free weights in each hand as you do this. Then with the back of your hands facing out toward the side, draw them out away from your body, keeping them in line with your elbows, which should be tucked into your body.

Exercises like these can help to tighten up the muscles in the front of the body, strengthening your back, and enhancing the right muscles around your shoulder blades.

Take a proactive approach

Surprisingly many people who develop a shoulder injury suffer in pain for some time before doing anything about it. If you suspect that you may have sustained an injury to your rotator-cuff,try to gently massage the area whenever you can, put ice on it, and make sure you do rotator cuff exercises.

Sometimes these suggestions and specific exercises simply won’t do the trick, depending on the severity of the injury, they may even lead to more pain. If you feel this way, then it’s time you contacted a professional physical therapist. Everyone’s body is different, and you need to pay attention to it. When something you’re doing is causing you pain, however slight, it’s best to try something different.

In order to keep your muscles in great condition, eating nutritiously rich, protein packed food is absolutely essential. This is why our muscle gain meal plan will help you get the fuel you need, to put on healthy weight, build muscle, and give your body a fighting chance at preventing injury.