Shoulder Injury or Soreness
Often times baseball players injure their shoulders before any other body part. The shoulder is a movable joint with more range of motion than any other joint in the body. With this extra range of motion the shoulder can easily be injured. The physics of throwing produces high amounts of torque and pressure on the joint. If the shoulder is overused, inflamed, or not strong enough to withstand the torque from throwing, there is often an injury. Learn how to prevent an injured shoulder by learning abouttherapy for shoulder muscles.
Course of Action for a Hurt Shoulder
First, baseball players must learn the difference between hurt and sore. Every baseball player's arm becomes sore every now and then in the game of baseball. Hurt means that something is definitely wrong. The shoulder is experiencing tightness or potentially a tear. The best course of action to address shoulder pain is to figure out whether you are experiencing hurt or sore. If the pain lingers 24 hours a day, there is a potential that there is a tear and you should see the doctor immediately. If the pain slowly goes away after warming up then there is probably just tightness in your shoulder. It cannot be stressed enough, if a baseball player's shoulder hurts 24 hours a day or continues week after week, the baseball player must go to the doctor and seek medical attention. Do not complete any of the following exercises if pain continues.
Just Shoulder Tightness
If you have decided that your arm is only hurting because of tightness and inflammation, there are many things that you can do. The best way to alleviate shoulder pain is to increase blood flow in the area and stretch. Using 5 pound dumbbells and moving through a sequence of rotator cuff strengthening exercises enables a baseball player to increase blood flow in the area and promote healing along with decreased inflammation. The best way to heal the body is to increase blood flow in the area. Another way to decrease pain in the shoulder is by stretching. Overuse often inflames the shoulder leading to tightness in tendons and ligaments. This tightness in the shoulder is a normal body reaction to prevent injury. When the shoulder becomes inflamed it simply tells your body it hurts, and more often than not you will stop throwing. It's a normal body reaction for the arm to become tight after overuse.
Often throwers become tight in their internal rotators. Externally there is normally full range of motion, but overuse causes tightness with internal rotation. When internal rotation problems occur, the shoulder will begin moving out of its normal arm slot while throwing. This movement can cause serious injury so it is very important to address shoulder tightness and get back to your normal range of motion. One way to improve flexibility in the shoulder is to lay on your throwing arm side. When laying on your shoulder, move the elbow up to where it is perpendicular to your body. Now place that arm at a 90° angle with your hand aimed at the sky. Place your opposite hand on top of your throwing hand side and internally rotate. Be sure to keep your shoulder blades squeezed firmly to your back without letting them rotate off the spine. If the shoulder blades roll off the spine the stretch will move from your shoulder to your scapula, and this is not where stretching is needed. Refer to our shoulder stretch video for a full explanation and video reference.
Shoulder Pain | Should I Lift
Often baseball players stay away from lifting weights when their shoulder hurts. Generally, this is a good thought, if the baseball player is going to lift heavy weight and explode through full range of motion. But one of the best ways to increase blood flow and promote healing is by lifting weights. So when dealing with a sore shoulder it is important to warm up properly before lifting. After the shoulder is warmed up baseball players should make sure to move through full range of motion slowly and controlled. Exploding the weight is not what you want to do with a sore shoulder. By moving through an array of full body movements as well as isolated rotator cuff exercises, a baseball player can get back to feeling normal. Don't overdo the weight and don't move the weight too fast. It's all about slow and controlled movements to increase blood flow to and around and inflamed area. Blood is what makes the body heal quickly and what circulates lactic acid out of the shoulder.