The summer season is a great time to be outside and active. Whether you’re playing organized sports, enjoying a neighborhood pick-up game, or simply getting your normal daily exercise, it’s important to make safety a priority. Upper body injuries that affect the arms, shoulders, and neck are more common than many people realize. While some mishaps may be unavoidable, the healthcare providers here at Family Practice Center wanted to take some time to detail some of the most common upper body injuries and how they can possibly be prevented.
Tendinitis – Inflammation or irritation of the cord that attaches bone to muscle known as a tendon. Tendonitis can result from repetitive overuse of certain muscles in the biceps, shoulders, or wrists. It is common among tennis players, golfers, bowlers, and baseball players.
Tennis Elbow – A repetitive stress injury that causes inflammation or degeneration in the tendons around the elbow and the outside of the forearm. Over time, repeated motions can cause tiny tears in the elbow tendon. Tennis elbow can lead to pain and discomfort when extending and lifting your hand.
Torn Rotator Cuff – A tear of the tendons that bind your upper arm (humerus) into your shoulder blade. Can either result from a singular traumatic injury like a fall, repeated stress over time, or as a result of natural aging. Typically causes intense pain and weakness in the shoulder.
Pinched Nerve – A compression of the nerve that leads to additional pressure being placed on the nerve. Pinched nerves are common in the neck and back. Nerve compression in the neck can cause pain in the area and potentially affect many different parts of the body as well.
While it can be impossible to prevent injury in some cases, there are things you can do to reduce your risk of being hurt while exercising. We highly recommend developing a stretching regimen before and after your physical activity to increase flexibility and reduce muscle damage. Muscle strengthening exercises can also be very helpful. In cases where you do experience recurring pain or discomfort in a specific area, it’s important to see a healthcare provider instead of “playing through” the pain and potentially making an issue more serious.
We hope you found this information informative and helpful. Knowing the signs of a potential issue and treating it early can be extremely beneficial, regardless of the specific injury. For more information or if you would like to schedule an appointment with one of our healthcare providers today, please contact Family Practice Center. We also recommend following us on Facebook for additional health tips, news, and so much more.