Shoulder pain isn't uncommon; every day, many of us reach over our heads to get the plates for dinner or throw the baseball after school with the kids.
Most shoulder pain goes away independently with home care, rest, and over-the-counter medications. However, more invasive treatments are sometimes necessary for persistent shoulder trouble.
But what if you could prevent shoulder problems from ever occurring with a few simple steps each day? The good news is it's possible to strengthen the shoulder joints to prevent injuries.
Dr. Steven J. Svabek and his team specialize in orthopedic problems, including shoulder injuries and degeneration. Dr. Svabek is a highly trained orthopedic surgeon who offers various treatments to keep your shoulders working their best, regardless of age.
Common shoulder problems
The shoulders are joints most people take for granted — until something happens and they can't use them. Injuries are common in the shoulders among athletes and nonathletes alike.
Although the shoulders are durable joints, lifestyle factors like career, sports, and genetics play a role in shoulder injuries.
Chronic wear-and-tear is another factor that contributes to arthritis in the shoulder joints. Other common shoulder problems include:
- Frozen shoulder
- Rotator cuff tears
- Labrum tears
Sprains and strains to the tissues within the shoulder joint are also common but usually resolve independently with home care.
Taking care of your shoulder joints early on is the best way to ensure you have strong, healthy joints throughout your life.
Tips to keep your shoulders healthy
Dr. Svabek isn't only an expert on orthopedic injuries; he also provides tips and strategies to build strong muscles and joints to prevent getting hurt. There are several lifestyle tips he recommends for healthy shoulder joints, including:
Check your posture
Poor posture strains various body parts, including the muscles and ligaments surrounding the shoulders. Over time, bad posture causes inflammation and degeneration in the joint from long-term strain.
Start practicing good posture as soon as possible to prevent painful muscles and joints. Hold your head straight, relax the shoulders, and align your back to reduce strain.
Perform daily stretches
Stretching isn't just for athletes; it's crucial to everyone's musculoskeletal well-being. Some of the stretches we recommend daily for the shoulder joint include:
You can do these static stretches after a workout or during a warm-up to increase flexibility and prevent shoulder injuries.
Dynamic stretches include standing arm swings and shoulder pass-throughs, promoting blood flow to the tissues in the shoulder.
Incorporate strength training
Building muscle around the joints is crucial to injury and arthritis prevention. Start lifting weights or using body exercises slowly, and develop repetitions and weight over time.
It's essential to have the proper posture while strength training to prevent injuries. Some of the strength exercises that are excellent for the shoulder joint include:
- High-low rows
- Shoulder press
- Reverse fly
- Dumbbell rotation
Perform several exercises a few times a week to strengthen the shoulders. Strong joints are less prone to injury, especially with proper stretching and warm-up.
Strength, flexibility, and mobility are all crucial factors in keeping the shoulder joints safe and healthy for the long haul.
When to see a doctor
If done carefully, a shoulder training program should allow you to build strength and flexibility in the shoulder joints. It's crucial to start slow and advance as your body allows.
If you push too hard too soon, you could sustain a muscle strain or, worse, a torn tendon or ligament. Don't attempt to go through pain while stretching or lifting, as it's often a sign your body's had enough.
Pain that persists after you've rested and applied ice is a cause for concern. Paired with other symptoms, pain should be a sign to see Dr. Svabek. Other symptoms that signal an issue include:
- Pain with movement
- Inability to lift the arm
- Decreased range-of-motion
If you have any of these signs after stretching or lifting weights, seeing Dr. Svabek for treatment is vital. Shoulder problems usually worsen without proper treatment, increasing the risk of long-term damage and complications.
If you're concerned about your shoulder health, don't hesitate to call Dr. Svabek's team today to schedule an appointment at his Coral Springs, Florida office. You can also request a consultation using our convenient online booking tool.