Shoulder pain with overhead sports? Whether it be volleyball, softball, tennis or any other sport, you are not alone. Being a former collegiate volleyball player, I am very familiar with shoulder pain and how much it can impact your life.
The shoulder is a ball and socket joint. While this makes it one of the most mobile joints in the body, it also makes it one of the least stable. Due to the fact that the shoulder isn’t overly stable, it is also prone to injury. Repetitive overhead sports or activity can increase your risk for shoulder injury and pain.
The shoulder relies on muscles and ligaments for stability. It is important to strengthen the muscles around the shoulder to decrease your risk for shoulder injury or pain. As an overhead athlete, it is even more important to keep your shoulder strong. The following three exercises are a good way to do just that.
During your off-season: Do these three exercises at least four times per week.
During your season: Do these three exercises at least two times per week.
1. Sidelying External Rotation
- Lie on side
- Bend elbow to 90 degrees
- Place towel roll between elbow and side
- Lift arm with elbow bent
2. Prone T
- Lie on stomach
- With arms straight, lift arms (palms down) while squeezing shoulder blades
3. Prone Y
- Lie on stomach
- With arms straight. lift arms at a diagonal while squeezing shoulder blades
*For each exercise, do 10 to 15 repetitions with either the weight of your arm, a soup can, or a light hand weight (one to two pounds).
Most shoulder injuries and pain can be treated conservatively. However, if you have shoulder pain that is not improving, see a healthcare professional.
(exercise pictures: http://www.pt-helper.com/shoulder.html)