Winter is finally coming to an end, and the warmer weather of spring is upon us. After being cooped up indoors for the entire winter, many of us are excited to get outside and get active. For some, this means going camping, doing yard work, playing a round or two of tennis, or hitting the golf ball around. In order to successfully accomplish all of these activities, we must have good shoulder function.

The shoulder is a uniquely designed joint. It allows for a wide range of mobility. However, its lack of surface contact means that when a person moves a lot, their shoulder is susceptible to injury. The shoulder is a ball and socket joint. This means that all of its stability comes from the ligaments and muscles that surround the shoulder. These include the rotor cuff and scapular muscles.

As a result of the unique shoulder design, which includes a lack of joint surface contact, many people injure their shoulders. This especially true when they are playing overhead sports such as basketball or tennis, when they collide with others, or when they fall.

Shoulder injuries fall into two categories. They can either be acute, or they can be chronic. Many who suffer shoulder injuries also deal with referred pain. This is pain in the arm or in the neck that comes as a result of a shoulder injury.

Shoulder injuries can happen as a result of trauma. For example, a person may injure their shoulder if they trip and fall while playing basketball. Or shoulder injuries can come as a result of biomechanical malfunctions. If a person plays tennis for eight hours a day, their shoulder will eventually give out. Regardless of the reasons for the injury, it is essential that all shoulder injuries are cared for appropriately and promptly.

In order to accurately diagnose a shoulder injury, a doctor will review a person’s health history. They will do an examination of the shoulder and perform other investigations. Some of the more common shoulder injuries include AC joint sprains, rotor cuff injuries, fractures, dislocated joints, frozen shoulder, and Labrum injuries.

If you injure your shoulder, there are things that you can do before you visit a medical professional. These steps will help you to reduce inflammation, minimize the pain, and most importantly prevent further shoulder damage.

First, put ice on your shoulder. Never put it directly on your skin, but instead place the ice between multiple layers of clothing.

Second, rest. Your shoulder is already injured and exerting yourself more may increase your risk of further injury.

Finally, immobilize your shoulder by using a sling.

Anytime you sustain a shoulder injury, it is wise to get help and advice from professionals like those found at the New York Dynamic Neuromuscular Rehabilitation Center. These professionals will work with you by providing you with tools and techniques that will help you along the road to recovery and regaining your functional independence.

The spring and summer months provide a welcome break from winter’s cold weather. Get out there and enjoy the weather.

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