Shoulders - Haiku Learning

Shoulder Injuries
Shoulder injuries are very common in swimming and water polo. The shoulder is
the most movable joint and has the most range of motion. It is able to move in all
different planes which all these factors contribute to the joint being more
susceptible to injury. With this it is even more apparent that precautious
measurements be taken to decrease the likely hood of an injury.
The first step is stretching. Stretching the shoulder before and after practice helps
to keep the surrounding muscles loose. When muscles tighten up they move the
shoulder into a position that is more susceptible to wear and tear. The most
important muscle to stretch is the pectoral, or your chest muscle. When this muscle
gets too tight, your shoulders round forward which can cause impingement
syndrome which we will discuss later. Next the bicep muscle should be stretched as
this also can contribute to impingement.
Some examples of the stretches are:
1) Doorway stretch- put both arms in 90 degrees or bent elbows with hands up
and place one arm on one side of the doorway and the other on the other side
of the doorway. Next lean forward by pushing your chest out till you feel a
stretch. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat 3X(this can also be done one arm at
a time)
2) Grabbing the doorway or a wall with one hand at shoulder height and arm
fully extend, rotate the body so your shoulder and arm are going backwards
hold 30 seconds repeat 3X
3) Grabbing the door or wall, place one hand on at shoulder height and extend
your arm. Rotate your body in so your arm is stretched across your chest
hold 30 seconds and repeat 3X
4) Place an arm above your head and bend at the elbow. Hold your elbow and
push down towards your back. Hold 30 seconds and repeat 3X
After workout, another precautionary measure is to ice any muscle soreness. Heat
should not be used as this can make any swelling worse. Ice for 20 minutes
immediately following workout to decrease any swelling. If you are susceptible to
soreness, this should be routine after every workout no exceptions.
*Stretching should not be done after icing as this can tear your muscle. Stretch first
than ice.
The most common shoulder injury is impingement. Impingement is because there
are three tendons that go right under your AC joint that already have a tight fit. Any
swelling of these tendons causes pain. Poor posture, injury, tight muscles and
overuse cause impingement. Three of the four ways are preventable.
With both the primary response is to ice first. Depending on the amount of pain,
anti-inflammatory medicine can also be taken to reduce the swelling. Advil and
Motrin are over the counter medicines that can be taken as long as you follow the
recommended dosage unless a doctor prescribes otherwise.
Whenever you start a season, muscle soreness is very common and should not be
confused with an injury.
What to do if your shoulder hurts:
1) Tell your coach
2) Stretch and ice after practice
3) If after a week or two you are still experiencing an increase in pain, key word
increase, you need to see a doctor
4) You should not be altering your workouts at all at this point, some muscle
soreness goes away so that’s why it takes about two weeks to determine if it
is muscle soreness or an injury.
5) A doctor will give more of a complete diagnose but a word of caution, if an
injury is detected and sometimes there isn’t one, the doctor will prescribe
rest. Depending on the athlete, most can make it through a season and rest at
the end of the season.
With any pain a coach should be notified. We don’t know there is anything going on
unless you tell us. Communication is key. We are trained as coaches to deal with
injuries and determine the extent. There is also a place and a time to inform us,
usually at the beginning or end of practice, and NOT IN THE MIDDLE OF A SET OR