« July 2007 | Main | September 2007 »

3 posts from August 2007

August 22, 2007

The Results of Shoulder Treatments

Treating shoulder pain is often a scary idea for patients who may very well require drastic surgery in order to resolve their issues. However, the daily agony of joint pain isn't something that must be stomached,  and patients do not need to shrug off the pain as a normal aspect of aging.

Physical therapy and drug treatment are normal catagories of treatments that shoulder pain patients across the globe are normally prescribed. In cases even more serious, physical therapy and drugs are not enough to relieve the pain and shoulder replacement surgery is a treatment that can often deliver amazing results.

Dr. Alampallam Venkatachalam
over at Shoulder Surgery, Arthroscopy, Stabilization, Slap Repair India has some great posts documenting the results of some of these treatment options. Keeping in mind the original condition that many of these patients had been in before treatment, some of the results are amazing.

Technorati: Something Other Than Shoulders for a Sec

Technorati Profile

I have mentioned the sheer numbers of people who face shoulder pain in many of my prior posts. Many of my posts have simply attempted to break the stereotypes of rotator cuff tendonitis and shoulder disease, the way that a baseball pitcher and amateur athlete can face the same condition.

Keeping the population of sufferers in mind, it is very possible that some bloggers themselves stumble upon this blog. For those bloggers, I want to take a second to recommend something other than a shoulder treatment...

Technorati.com is a great site that connects bloggers and readers. You can even tailor your posts to the technorati search engines through tags for each individual post, making it even easier for readers to find your specific post regarding their search term.

There are also ways in which Technorati can help increase the visibility of your site, ways that I am only just now exploring. If anyone reaches any great breakthroughs, I would love to hear of your results.

August 11, 2007

Shoulder Pain Caused by Swimmers' Shoulder

Shoulder pain is an affliction of many modern athletes.  Swimming is no exception.  Swimming typically involves a fair amount of freestyle swimming stroke.  It has been said that high level competitive swimmers will have as many as 16,000 arm rotations a week.  This activity of forward movement in the shoulder and the repetitive fashion does cause significant strain on the shoulder.  Swimming coaches and swimmers will know frequent episodes of anterior and superior shoulder pain, both during the swimming and as the process worsens throughout the day.

What is going on here?  Firstly, swimming, an excellent form of exercise and a very popular competitive sport, has to some degree some possibility for over use of the shoulder.  Over use is defined as using a body part in a repetitive way beyond which it was designed.  This stress can, at times, lead to impingement upon the superspinatus tendon, therefore, setting off a cascade that leads to full blown rotator cuff tendonitis. This condition causes significant shoulder pain.  It more frequently limits a swimmer’s training schedule due to shoulder pain. 

How are swimmers able to prevent shoulder pain caused by swimmer’s shoulder?   A few things are very helpful in understanding the anatomy of the rotator cuff.  Firstly, the superspinatus is only one of four muscles comprising the rotator cuff.  It also is the muscle that is most stressed and at times the one most warn down by repetitive use of free stroke swimming.  Swimmers need to understand that there are three other muscles of the rotator cuff that need to be strengthened.  Trying to balance out the amount of freestyle with at least increasing the amount of backstrokes when swimming will relatively strengthen some of the other three muscles, particular the infraspinatus.  Additionally, I typically recommend that swimmers include a very slightly weighted jump rope at the end or beginning of their swimming workout.  The jump rope by keeping the arms low and particularly when used in a very rapid fashion will strengthen the other three muscles of the rotator cuff.  This allows for balance within the very complex shoulder joint and specifically the structure of the rotator cuff.  This will go a long way towards helping prevent swimmer’s shoulder.  Specifically, I typically recommend the blue jump rope put out by Lifeline Fitness.  It’s called a speed/workout jump rope.   

Problems with shoulders are common with both high level and low level competitive and fitness swimming.  It is important to address this problem early.  It is important to understand that the shoulder needs balance in its strength.  Again, I recommend to my swimmers that they employ usually some increase backstroke and again I recommend using a weighted jump rope for ten minutes of jumping rope at the beginning or end of their practice. This will hopefully prevent shoulder pain, shoulder disease, and allow people to enjoy the rather incredible and unique sport of swimming which I uniformly recommend as an excellent form of low impact exercise.