Returning to Sports After a Shoulder Injury

Returning to Sports After a Shoulder Injury

It’s amazing how you only come to really appreciate a body part after it’s been injured, which is certainly true of your shoulder. From swinging a racket or golf club to throwing a pitch or spiking a volleyball, the contributions your shoulders make in sports and daily living become abundantly clear after an injury. And here in Florida, where spring training for baseball and beach volleyball take center stage, we see our fair share of shoulder injuries.

When it comes to shoulder injuries, the team at Kinexis Healthcare has one mission: to get you back in the game as quickly and safely as possible. We understand the frustration of being sidelined by an injury, and we work with our patients in Estero, Florida, to ensure that they can return to their sport or activity of choice with a fully functioning shoulder.

Here are a few things to consider when returning to sports after a shoulder injury, and how we can help.

Don’t wait idly by

While you may be laid up by your shoulder injury, this doesn’t mean that you should resign yourself to the couch. There are plenty of things we can do during your recovery to help your shoulder strengthen and heal, starting with physical therapy.

Your shoulder is a shallow ball-and-socket joint, which by its very design is inherently unstable. This instability is what allows you the extraordinarily wide range of motion your arms enjoy. No other joint can bend and flex the way this one can, allowing you to reach forward and back and from high to low.

To give you this wide range of motion, your shoulder relies on a host of soft tissue players, including:

Perhaps the most important tissue in your shoulder is your rotator cuff, which is a group of tendons and muscles that give your shoulder stability.

Depending upon which part of your shoulder you’ve injured, we need to make sure that the other supporting components retain their strength and flexibility while you rehab. We can help you with an appropriate physical therapy program that helps speed your recovery, without unnecessarily risking re-injury, to get you back in the game with a healthy, functioning shoulder that’s up to the rigors of your sport.

Be patient

You probably knew we were going to get to this important point. We know how frustrating it is to be forced into a timeout because of injury, but you need to give your body plenty of time to heal at its own pace.

Here again, the time required depends upon the severity of your shoulder injury. The odds are that you’ve injured your shoulder through repetitive use and repeated stresses that developed over time. This means it will also take time to recover.

Your body is an incredibly efficient machine that does a great job of looking after itself, if you step out of the way and let your natural healing resources flood in and take over. If you push your shoulder too far or too early though, you run the risk of scrambling your body’s healing response and setting yourself back even further.

So whether we recommend immobilization or limited use, it’s in your best interest to follow our instructions to the letter so that your shoulder heals correctly.

A little help

While we’ve just gone over what a resourceful machine your body is, there are some things we can do on our end to help your recovery along. Here at our practice, we bring a number of tools to each injury, including:

These treatment protocols are designed to work with your body to encourage healing.

Take it slowly

And when we give you the greenlight to return to your sport, ease yourself back in. You want to test your shoulder, but not baby it, so a return to activity is a fine balancing act. Listen to your body, and if you feel your shoulder object, dial it back a little to give the joint more time. At the same time, resist the urge to overprotect your shoulder. Give it small pushes, and over time you’ll regain full confidence in its abilities again.

If you’d like to learn more about returning to sports after a shoulder injury, and how we can help move this forward, please give us a call or use the online booking tool to set up an appointment.

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