Seasonal Shoulder Syndromes

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The shoulder joint is a ball and socket type of joint that is very susceptible to injuries. It is not uncommon for an individual to have recurrent problems during a particular season or have periods of relief followed by periods of pain. This often occurs because individuals engage in several activities that put cumulative stresses on the shoulder joint. Certain seasons bring about recreational opportunities and responsibilities that fosters a cumulative stress disorder. Some of the more common activities that exert stress on the shoulder are as follows:

Recreational activities:
* Softball and baseball pitching and catching is a complex activity that recruits a lot of muscular fibers and can often put the shoulder in the position of compromise.
* Volleyball serving, particularly overhand, can also be stressful to the shoulder joint.
* Tennis – The improper backhand return in tennis could affect the shoulder and elbow.
* Water skiing – Holding onto the rope will put traction in the shoulder joint, and this could cause it to become inflamed.

Outdoor chores:
* Outdoor activities during the summer that could compromise the shoulder include bailing hay, gardening, shoveling dirt, and using the wheel barrel.

Work responsibilities:
* Typing, especially with the shoulders in an anterior position
* Lifting, especially overhead
* Pulling and pushing of items

Sleep position:
* Sleeping on a painful shoulder or with arms above the head, could aggravate a shoulder condition and prolong the healing process.

Like other muscular injuries, recognize that it is usually not the heroic bend, lift, twist or turn that causes most problems, but doing certain activities repetitively with less than adequate posture. Recognizing that shoulder problems are often the result of cumulative stress and strains, remember the old adage that an “ounces of prevention” by pacing themselves when engaging in activities that are known to be offensive.

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