Shoulder Injury Causes

By Steve Silverman

The human shoulder is an engineering marvel. Four small muscles comprise the rotator cuff, which allows the shoulder to move so precisely. A sprain or a strain can be painful, while a tear of one of these muscles can stop the shoulder from functioning efficiently or shut it down altogether. While these muscles are quite efficient, they are also quite delicate and easily damaged. Golfers depend on their shoulder muscles with every swing, and pain from shoulder injuries can have a devastating impact on your ability to play the game.

Throwing overhand

Throwing a ball overhand is an unnatural motion and those who do it either frequently or occasionally put themselves in a position to injure their rotator cuff shoulder muscles. Baseball pitchers often face the question of when--and not if--an injury will occur. Repeatedly throwing with force is a great strain on the shoulder and can result in serious pain and injury. It's the rare athlete who doesn't have some kind of shoulder soreness or injury. The motion of the golf swing does not challenge the shoulder's structure, but the repeated swing can wear down the shoulder and it will most likely be felt on the backswing and follow through.

Shoulder dislocation

The shoulder can become dislocated any time there is any significant contact with the upper arm. This can happen in a contact sport like football, basketball or soccer, but it can also happen in a car accident or in a trip-and-fall situation. The contact with another individual can cause the ball-and-socket in the shoulder to dislocate. The injury is painful and resetting it can also cause more pain. The end result can be shoulder instability. When a golfer's shoulder that has been dislocated, it needs time to heal before the golfer can go back to the driving range or the course.

Frozen shoulder

The "frozen shoulder" is a common condition that leads to stiffness and pain in the shoulder joint. This is a condition that occurs over a period of months with gradual stiffness and soreness. It can also occur when you have your arm in a sling and it is immobilized over a period of weeks or months. Frozen shoulder can be associated with a traumatic injury or Parkinson's disease, but the onset usually has no discernible cause. It is treated with rest and physical therapy and it often becomes an issue for older individuals. In order to play golf when you have this condition, you need to do physical therapy exercises after a signficiant period of rest.

About The Author

Steve Silverman is an award-winning writer, covering sports since 1980. Silverman authored The Minnesota Vikings: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly and Who's Better, Who's Best in Football -- The Top 60 Players of All-Time, among others, and placed in the Pro Football Writers of America awards three times. Silverman holds a Master of Science in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism.


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