Sports Medicine
A Crucial Period
Good Pain, Bad Pain
On Your Knees
Secondary Injuries
Imaging Technology
What's Sciatica?
The Female Athlete
Putting Your Feet First
Itis Schmitis
Too Much, Too Soon
Under the Influence
What's Goin' On?
Think Inches, Not Pounds
Preventing Vaginitis
That Painful Pull
Athlete's Heart
Exercise & Arthritis
Chilled to the Bone
Measuring Body Fat
Exercise and Your Breasts
Choosing a Sports Doctor
Lean on Me (Shoulder)
Exercise & Anemia
Exercise Abuse
Pelvis Sighting
Hand Aid
It's All in the Wrist
Back in Action
Altitude Adjustment
Tennis Elbow, Anyone?
Exercising in the Heat
Agony of the Feet
Restless Legs
Night Time Cramps
Birth Control Concerns
No Periods, No Babies?
Post Partum Prescription
Weight Loss Mystery
Undesirable Cooldown
To Brew Or Not To Brew
Fitness After Baby
Biking and Back Pain
Swimmer's Shoulder
A Hidden Athlete
Avoiding Osteoporosis
Drug Testing
Maximum Heart Rate
Headway Against Headaches
Torn Rotator Cuff
Fat Figures
Bloody Urine
Sag Story
Lackluster Leg
Bothersome Bulge
Gaining in Years
Taking It On the Shin
Aching Ankles
Hoop Help
Tender Toes
Meals For Muscle
Growing Pains
Hot Tips
High Altitude PMS
Personal Bests
Air Pollution
Ankle Blues
Heartbreak Heel
Yeast Relief

Lean on Me

You never know when you'll need a strong shoulder.

They're a metaphor for strength: Atlas carried the weight of the world on his. Lesser mortals carry lesser burdens, emotional and physical, on theirs, and cry on other people's.

Ever since human beings first stood up and started walking around on two legs, our shoulders have been taking a beating. No wonder they're the most frequently injured part of the upper body.

Design is partly to blame; one of the shoulder's most useful features is also a liability The shoulder is a ball-and-socket joint, but the socket is shallow; like a saucer. While this gives the arm with a wide range of motion, it also contributes to instability in the joint and susceptibility to chronic and overuse injuries.

Most shoulder pain develops from muscle imbalance, friction and fatigue caused by overuse in activities like swimming and throwing. These activities can cause microscopic tissue damage, inflammation and swelling in the muscles and tendons.

Overuse injuries.

Because its socket is so shallow, the shoulder is very dependent on strong rotator cuff muscles, the infraspinatus, subscapularis, supraspinatus, and teres minor, to maintain the stability of the humeral head in the glenoid fossa. These muscles also rotate the shoulder; so they are brought into play when the joint is under greatest stress, such as during throwing motions.

Powerful, repetitive motions can cause microscopic fraying of the rotator cuff tendons. These tendons can also tear; requiring surgical repair and a long, difficult rehabilitation, which is not always successful.

If tendinitis occurs in the rotator cuff tendons as they run under the acromioclavicular (AC) arch, it causes pain and limits the range of motion when you raise your arm, a condition called impingement. Tearing of these tendons limits strength and range of motion even further.

Bursitis, an inflammation of the bursae sacs that lubricate the joint, is another result of overuse.

What about traumatic injuries to the shoulder?

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Table of Contents

Foreword: Billie Jean King

Comments by Barb Harris
Editor in Chief,
Shape Magazine

General Health
Common Medical Problems
Dental Health
Infectious Disease
Sexual Health
Emotional Well-Being
Eating Disorders
Alcohol & Other Drugs
Environmental Health

The information in this web site is for educational purposes only and is not providing medical or professional advice. It should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease. It is not a substitute for professional medical care. If you have or suspect you might have any health problems, you should consult a physician.

Copyright 2000 - Sports Doctor, Inc.