The Challenges of Treating Shoulder Pain in Athletes


Athletes participating in sports that require a quick acceleration and deceleration of the arm, such as baseball and softball pitchers, tennis players, handball players, and javelin throwers, are particularly susceptible to developingshoulder pain. This is due to the extreme amount of stress that these activities place on the joints that make up the shoulder. The following examines why the treatment of these types of injuries is often challenging and unpredictable.
Identifying the Cause of Shoulder Pain:

Shoulder problems are one of the more difficult sports-related injuries to diagnose. First, the shoulder is made up of four joints. An issue with any of these joints can result in pain and impaired athletic performance. Injuries can also affect structures located deep within the shoulder, which makes them difficult examine manually. Finally, different kinds of injuries can cause similar type pain. For example, rotator cuff tendonitis, bicep tendonitis, and a rotator cuff tear can all cause pain at the front of the shoulder. This is where the clinician has to utilise a systematic exam approach and rely on their experience to determine which group of symptoms and findings should be considered abnormal for the particular patient.
Shoulder Pain Treatment:

Shoulder problems often develop during adolescence. Overuse and growth plate injuries are the most common problems seen in adolescent athletes. Rest is one of the best ways to prevent fatigue and injuries; however, prolonged rest should be avoided since that can lead to deconditioning. Ice therapy and over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatories can help reduce pain and inflammation. Physical therapy may also be beneficial in restoring proper muscle balance. Arthroscopic surgery may be required if conservative treatments are unsuccessful. The type of surgery required and the level of performance that can be expected post-surgery varies with the kind of injury.

At Providence Orthopaedic Singapore, we specialise in arthroscopic surgery and the treatment of various types of sports injuries. We offer a variety of medical and surgical treatments forĀ shoulder painĀ that are designed to help you get back to work and play.