4 Common Sports Shoulder Injuries | Somerset Orthopedic & Sports Medicine
4 Common Sports Shoulder Injuries

4 Common Sports Shoulder Injuries

As one can expect, shoulder injuries occur quite frequently amongst sports athletes. Even those with more moderate activity levels can encounter some of these common shoulder injuries. These conditions can be linked to chronic pain and other areas such as the neck. Treating these conditions early-on in a proper manner is vital for full recovery and to avoid potential loss of mobility in the area.

Weightlifter’s Shoulder (AC Joint Osteolysis)

Weightlifter’s Shoulder is an orthopedic condition that occurs most commonly, as one may guess, among weightlifters and heavy laborers. The condition is comprised of a series of small sized fractures along the collarbone. As these fractures worsen, they erode the bones connecting to the AC Joint (where the collarbone connects to the shoulder blade).

Symptoms include a dull ache over the AC Joint, tenderness and pain when pressure is placed atop the shoulder, swelling in the AC Joint or at the end of the collarbone, general weakness within the shoulder, and much more significant pain after work outs or weight lifting.

Frozen Shoulder (Adhesive Capsulitis of the Shoulder)

This is a condition where the shoulder capsule and the connective tissue surrounding the joint of the shoulder becomes stiff and inflamed. This is caused by a lack of synovial fluid, a lubricant for the ball and socket joint between the should blade and the humerus.

Symptoms include chronic pain in the area (especially with cold weather and during the nighttime), greatly restricted movement. Simple tasks become almost impossible to do, even like raising an arm- due to stiffness and tightness of the area.

Shoulder Labral Tear

The labrum is a piece of ‘rubbery tissue’ attached to the edge of the shoulder socket to help keep the ball of the joint in position. When this cartilage is torn, it is referred to as a Shoulder Labral Tear. It can result from the aging process from use over time, or from an injury.

The pain from a Shoulder Labral Tear is not always present, however it is felt when one with this condition uses his or her shoulder, especially overhead. Specific symptoms include a locking, catching, or grinding feeling of the area, feeling of instability in the shoulder, loss of range of motion, and general shoulder strength.

Rotator Cuff Tear

The Rotator Cuff is comprised of four muscles that group together as tendons to form a ‘cuff; over the humerus. The Rotator Cuff helps to rotate and lift the arm, as well as to stabilize the ball of the shoulder. This tear can result from the aging process as the tendon degenerates, or from an injury.

Symptoms include pain beginning in the front of the should down to the side of the arm. The pain may be present during activities that require lifting. One with this injury may feel pain if he or she tries to sleep on the injured side. Weakness of the arm for regular daily activities such as putting on a shirt or scratching your back may also cause pain.

This list is meant for general knowledge and is in no way a substitute for professional diagnosis. If you believe you may be suffering from one of these conditions, do not hesitate to reach out to seek professional treatment!

​New Jersey's Top Docs

Dr. James Parolie, M.D.

Specializ​ing in Sports Medicine Injuries and Arthroscopic Surgery

Dr. ​Mingi Choi, M.D.

Specializing in Conservative and Interventional Treaments of Musculoskeletal and Spinal Disorders

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