With football season in full swing and the cooler weather approaching shoulder injury related to playing football are already happening. Athletes can have many different types of injuries. Below we discuss some of the injuries which commonly occur in football players, including dislocation, separation, impingement, and rotator cuff injury.
Shoulder Dislocation is an injury in which your upper arm bone (humerus) pops out of the socket of the shoulder blade. The shoulder is one of the most frequently dislocated joints in the body, and if you have dislocated your shoulder in the past, then you are more prone to dislocation in the future. Symptoms include but are not limited to severe pain, grinding, limited movement, and visible deformity. Usually, these are reduced in the field by a trainer and/or team physician, but the prompt orthopaedic evaluation is needed after that to determine the treatment plan, including whether surgery is needed.
Shoulder Separation occurs when the ligaments attached to the collarbone (clavicle) partially or completely tear away from the shoulder blade. The most common way to get a shoulder separation is getting tackled directly on the shoulder or falling on the shoulder. Symptoms include shoulder pain, arm or shoulder weakness, bruising or swelling, limited shoulder movement, and possibly a bump and swelling at the top of the shoulder. Most of these injuries do not need surgery, but some specific types of separation do.
Shoulder Impingement occurs when the tendons rub against the shoulder bones causing injury, irritation, or inflammation. Overhead activity of the shoulder, like throwing a football or lifting weights, for instance, is a risk factor for shoulder impingement. Symptoms include difficulty reaching up behind the back, or pain with overhead use of the arm. If shoulder impingement if not treated properly this could lead to a rotator cuff injury or tear.
Rotator Cuff Injury often occurs from overuse and repetitive motion, but can also occur with trauma. Symptoms include pain when lifting from the side or reaching overhead, and weakness in your shoulder. Pain at night can interfere with sleep. A rotator cuff strengthening program can be an important part of your workout routine to treat and prevent these injuries.
When playing sports like football make sure all your equipment is properly fitted at the beginning of every season, especially the shoulder pads. Always practice proper tackling and blocking techniques, and most importantly participate in a strength and conditioning program. This will help make the body more flexible and less prone to injuries. It is important not to ignore these types of signs and symptoms because, over time, they could become more serious and painful. Please contact the Oklahoma Shoulder Center, for an appointment if you are having any symptoms of shoulder pain or instability.
By Oklahoma Shoulder Center PLLC
September 23, 2020