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Save yourself from summer shoulder injuries

Save yourself from summer shoulder injuries

Summer is a great time to get outside and enjoy some sunshine. Whether it’s gardening, water sports, or family fun, physical activity is one of the hallmarks of a summer well spent. But for those who might be less active at other times of the year, summer may also mean an increased risk for potential injury.

Your shoulder is a complex joint that gives you a wide range of motion, allowing you to throw a ball, paddle a kayak, swing a tennis racket, or even swim. But the versatility that lets you do all those things also increases your risk for developing chronic shoulder pain, particularly if you repeat the same motions over and over for a period of days or weeks.

Pain or injury from repetitive use can lead to strains and sprains of one or more of the muscles that make up the shoulder joint. And the more you use your shoulder, the worse these strains can become until the tissues begin to tear or rupture.

What to look for
Overexerting your shoulder joint with repetitive movements can cause persistent pain, along with other symptoms including:

● Numbness
● Tingling
● Burning
● Weakness
● Loss of dexterity

Over time, these symptoms can worsen and will likely require treatment to prevent permanent damage to your shoulder and the need for surgery. Rotator cuff tears, strains, and other injuries can develop for a wide variety of reasons and can even lead to shoulder arthritis.
How to avoid injuries
The best way to minimize the chances of a summer shoulder injury is to be sure you warm up before exercise or exertion, and make sure you’re using proper form for activities such as tennis or swimming. When playing sports, understanding proper form and stance can be the key to avoiding injury, so consult with a trainer or coach to understand how to move correctly.
By stretching and loosening up before and after any kind of exercise or physical activity, you’ll be far less likely to tear a muscle or suffer a strain.
What to do after an injury

The most important first step if you think you’ve injured your shoulder is to see a medical professional, preferably a shoulder specialist. Because the shoulder is such a complex combination of bones, tendons, and muscle, it’s important to seek advice from someone who can help work toward a speedy and full recovery. Dr. Stacy Tapscott of DOC Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine in Decatur and Hartselle, is just such a specialist.

Dr. Tapscott is board certified in Orthopaedic surgery and sports medicine. He completed a shoulder surgery and reconstruction fellowship at The University of Texas Health Sciences Center at San Antonio, where he trained under internationally renowned shoulder specialists Charles A. Rockwood, Jr., M.D. and Michael A. Wirth, M.D. who have advanced the field of shoulder replacement. He also completed a sports medicine fellowship with the Knoxville Orthopaedic Clinic, the team physicians for the University of Tennessee.
With this advanced training, Dr. Tapscott delivers state-of-the-art care for his patients as part of the team of specialists at DOC Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine and also serves as team physician for several area high schools and Calhoun Community College.
Since 1972, DOC Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine has been committed to providing exceptional orthopaedic care through innovative techniques, quality services, patient communication, and education. With specialties ranging from general orthopaedics and physical therapy to sports medicine, joint replacement, and more, the doctors at DOC Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine can provide local expert care for any orthopaedic disorder or injury and help put your life back in motion.

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