Baseball Banner

St. Francis Sports Medicine Newsletter | April 2011

Quick Links
St. Francis
Sports Medicine

Physician Network

Newsletter Archive

Online Photo Albums

  St. FrancisFacebookNewslettersNewslettersTwitter

April 2011

Featured Events

Reedy River 10kReedy River Kids RunWade Hampton Little Leage
From top: Reedy River 10K, Reedy River Kids Run, and Wade Hampton Little League Opening Day



The shoulder is the most mobile joint in the body, allowing athletes the ability to strike a volleyball, toss a football, pitch a baseball, shoot a basketball, serve in tennis, and swim (just to name a few). However, the shoulder can easily become unstable and subject to injury and dislocation. Please continue reading to learn more about related injuries and prevention:
The Rotator Cuff: Does an Injury to Your Shoulder Need Tend-ing to?

The shoulder consists of muscles and joints, allowing it to move through a wide range of motions. The primary muscular unit that provides stability and function within the shoulder is the rotator cuff. The rotator cuff is comprised of a group of muscles and tendons that give individuals the ability to raise their arm, rotate their shoulder, and reach overhead. Injuries to the rotator cuff are frequent in athletes due to excessive, repetitive, overhead motion, but they can also occur during everyday activities as the result of direct trauma (a fall on an outstretched arm or a direct collision). A rotator cuff disorder, which is fairly common among athletes, involves any type of irritation or damage to your rotator cuff muscles or tendons, including the following:

Rotator Cuff Tendonitis
The most common injury is rotator cuff tendonitis. This is an inflammation of the rotator cuff tendons due to overuse, repetitive stress, or some mechanical irritation. The athlete will most likely experience an aching discomfort that is worse when the shoulder is raised and rotated.

Rotator Cuff Impingement
Another disorder associated with overhead activities is rotator cuff impingement. In this condition, the cuff muscle is squeezed and rubbed against the bone. This may be the result of fluid buildup, bone spur, or an already inflamed cuff tendon.

Anterior Instability and Posterior Impingement
A third condition, known as anterior instability and posterior impingement, occurs when the cuff muscles become weak due to either a lack of strength or inflammation. As a result, the arm will slide forward as it is raised and externally rotated (when cocking to throw, for example), causing the cuff muscles to be impinged in the joint.

Treatment and Prevention
These conditions have the potential to create a vicious cycle of inflammation, weakness and instability of the shoulder if not treated appropriately. In all cases, the initial course of treatment includes ice, anti-inflammatory medications, and rotator cuff strengthening exercises. However, if there is no improvement, you may be a candidate for shoulder surgery. Contact 675-HURT or your St. Francis Sports Medicine Physician if you are experiencing any of the above symptoms or conditions. The earlier these conditions are addressed, the quicker the athlete can return to his or her activity.

As always, prevention is key and the best way to prevent a shoulder injury is with daily shoulder stretches and shoulder strengthening exercises.

Shoulder Image 


Are You Ready to Get Down and Dirty?

Don't forget to register for the 2011 St. Francis Mud Run! Join us on Saturday, April 30 and Sunday, May 1 for the 3.5 mile obstacle course designed in Marine Corps boot camp tradition. Rain or shine, we hope to see you there!

Mud Run 2011