Types of Shoulder Injuries in Gymnastics

Shoulder injuriesShoulder injuries are among the most common injuries experienced by gymnasts, likely because the arms are the most vital part of executing almost all gymnastic routines. Here are some of the most common types of shoulder injuries to be aware of to ensure you’re taking the proper precautions.

Types of Shoulder Injuries in Gymnastics

Rotator Cuff Tears

A gymnast’s rotator cuffs experience a lot of wear and tear due to repeated overhead movements. Pain from a rotator cuff tear starts in the outer region of the shoulder and may continue outside of practice. Other signs to look for include:

  • Shoulder pain that worsens when asleep or resting on the injured side.
  • Cracking or grating sound when moving the injured shoulder.
  • Limited use and mobility in your arm.
  • Muscle weakness.
  • Difficulty or pain when raising, lowering, or rotating your arm.

Most rotator cuff injuries don’t heal by themselves. That’s why our orthopedic professionals highly recommend that gymnasts and others who participate in sports get surgery to repair the damage. The injury could heal improperly without treatment, leading to issues later on.

Shoulder Dislocation

Partial dislocations or complete shoulder dislocations are common in gymnastics. Shoulder dislocations can then lead to an axillary nerve injury.

Most people who experience a shoulder dislocation don’t require surgery, but it does take 12 to 16 weeks to heal fully. However, gymnasts suffering from severe shoulder dislocation or repeated injury may need surgery.

Frozen Shoulder

Frozen shoulder is an inflammatory condition that leads to joint pain and stiffness and is a common injury in gymnasts.

Someone with a frozen shoulder will have difficulty moving freely moving the joint. Treatments include OTC inflammatory medication, short-term corticosteroids, and physiotherapy.

Structural Lesions

A structural lesion is damage or an abnormality in the shoulder joint that ranges from tumor-like lesions to aggressive sarcomas. Specifically, male gymnasts can develop structural lesions in the shoulder and shoulder girdle and could require surgery.

Find Shoulder Pain Relief at Granite Orthopaedics

Any amount of shoulder pain can affect how you perform. Get to the bottom of your shoulder pain and find relief by contacting Granite Orthopaedics today at 928-777-9950 to schedule an appointment. We proudly serve Prescott and Prescott Valley, AZ.

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