We all use our shoulder muscles on a daily bases. However, if you’re an athlete or perform a job with a lot of heavy lifting or repetitious movement, then you’ll probably be using your shoulder muscles more often than others. With more use from these various types of activities, you might experience a slight soreness. If the pain progresses or becomes long-lasting, don’t ignore it, but seek medical attention as soon as possible. Here’s a look at two common shoulder injuries to keep in mind while exercising, practicing or working.

Rotator Cuff Tear

Some of the signs of a rotator cuff tear can be a dull ache deep in the shoulder, difficulty reaching your arm behind your back, and shoulder weakness. The most common result of this injury is repetitive movement. This means that people such as tennis players and painters are susceptible to a rotator cuff tear. Sometimes, it also happens as the result of a single injury, such as a fall. Early treatment for a rotator cuff injury includes rest, ice, compression, and elevation. Your doctor may also have you get steroid injections and do physical therapy. If other treatment does not work, then surgery may be necessary.

Of course, prevention is preferable to treatment. If you are at risk of a rotator cuff tear, your doctor can provide you with shoulder strengthening exercises. It is important to exercise the muscles in the back of your shoulders as well as around the shoulder blade.

Shoulder Instability

With shoulder instability, you may feel the ball of the shoulder come out of the socket. This is often accompanied by pain. You may also experience a decreased range of motion, swelling, and bruising. Some people have a genetic condition, which makes them more likely to suffer from shoulder instability. They may experience this discomfort because of a minor injury. For others, it may come as a result of a shoulder trauma or because of repetitive action.

A couple common treatments are rest followed by strength and range-of-motion exercises. If the instability is caused by a specific activity, you may need to limit how often you do the activity or give it up altogether. In some cases, surgery may help correct the instability so that you don’t have to sacrifice the things you enjoy.

One of the best ways to prevent shoulder instability is to make sure to give your shoulder muscles plenty of rest. As an athlete, be sure to wear proper protective gear to help prevent any injuries, especially those to the shoulders. For work and exercising, using a shoulder brace or compression may help to lessen the strain and overuse of those muscles.

If you are experiencing any shoulder pain or want to learn more about these and other shoulder injuries, including prevention and treatment, contact us. We’re here to help provide information, treatment and relief to help get you back to your daily routines.