The shoulder is a complex joint. When consistently used, you may experience painful shoulder injuries. Sports-related shoulder injuries can be incredibly disruptive and stop you from playing your chosen sport. According to Johns Hopkins, there are more than 3.5 million sports-related injuries yearly. The best thing you can do for your shoulder is to preserve shoulder health and take steps to prevent shoulder injuries. This article discusses tips to ensure your shoulder continues to function normally and isn’t at risk for sports-related injuries.

Tips for Avoiding Sports-Related Shoulder Injuries

There are many sports-related shoulder injuries, including fractures, dislocations, rotator cuff tears, sprains and strains, labral tears, and bursitis. Some of the sports these kinds of injuries are common in include tennis, volleyball, bowling, swimming, and racquetball. Fortunately, you can take steps to prevent these from occurring. Follow these tips to ensure optimal shoulder health and prevent sports-related shoulder injuries.

Always Stretch Before and After Sports

When it comes to preventing shoulder injuries in sports, stretching and warming up are some of the best things you can do. Do your warmup using static and dynamic stretching to prepare your muscles for sports. Examples of great warmup exercises include jumping jacks, leg swings, and stretching.

Pay Attention to Diet and Hydration 

Eating healthy, well-balanced meals is essential for everyone, but even more so for athletes. A healthy diet consists of plenty of lean protein, fruits, and vegetables. In addition to eating the right foods, you must eat them at regular times. If you want to prevent sports-related shoulder injuries, try to eat your meals at a consistent time every day, practice healthy eating, and drink plenty of water. Hydration is critical, and lack of hydration may result in heat-related illness. 

Get Plenty of Rest

The key to preventing sports-related shoulder injuries is to get plenty of rest between practice and games. You’re at higher risk for injuries if you don’t get enough rest and suffer from muscle fatigue. Most sports-related injuries are overuse injuries resulting from not resting enough. That’s why you must always take the time to rest and recuperate. In addition to preventing shoulder injuries, this ensures you can perform your best when you play.

Get Timely Help in Case of Shoulder Injuries 

If you sustain sports-related shoulder injuries, you must get it checked out as soon as possible. Many athletes sustain injuries but don’t report them. They can often make their injuries worse by thinking that their injuries are not severe and putting off treatment. Instead of letting the damage progress, make an appointment with a skilled orthopaedic doctor who can conduct a thorough assessment. If you experience painful pops, persistent swelling around a joint, consistent pain, and/or pain that doesn’t get better with rest, it’s time to seek orthopaedic care from someone who specializes in sports medicine.Dr. Gregory Hicken, MD, has over 25 years of experience in orthopaedic injuries and sports medicine. Whether it’s through a routine checkup or orthopaedic surgery, Dr. Hicken can help you remain healthy and active. Make an appointment by calling 435-787-2000 or schedule one online here.