Press-Republican

Columns

April 24, 2012

Weak shoulders can lead to surgery down the road

Though orthopedic medical procedures for the shoulder have come a long way, it is better to prevent injuries to the joint altogether.

This should always be kept in mind when training for baseball, tennis, swimming or any other sport requiring upper-body use. Strengthening the rotator-cuff muscles and core, as well as improving your posture, can be helpful in preventing injuries to the shoulder down the road.

ROTATOR CUFFS

The shoulder is the most mobile joint in the body, but it is also one of the weakest. The rotator-cuff muscles, which stabilize the joint, are located underneath the deltoids, the larger muscles of the shoulder. Four rotator-cuff muscles wrap halfway around the head of the upper arm bone (humerus). These muscles keep the head of the upper arm tight to the joint. They also control rotating and raising the arm.

For many, the internal rotators seem to be stronger than the external rotators, causing an imbalance. Doing some external-rotation exercises will help fix this. The only equipment needed is a light dumbbell and a bench.

Lie face down on the bench, allowing one arm to hang off to the side. While holding a light weight (1 to 3 pounds) in the same arm, raise the weight so that your arm ends up mimicking a right-hand turn signal, then lower it back down toward the floor. Your armpit and elbow should be at exactly 90 degrees when at the top. Do two to three sets of 15 repetitions. You should feel a slight burning sensation around your shoulder.

CORE

Strengthening your core is also must, not only for prevention of shoulder injuries, but also for anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears, ankle sprains and back pain.

The core, which includes everything from mid chest to mid thigh, must be able to activate correctly and be strong enough so that all body movements are done effectively and efficiently. When throwing a baseball, for example, certain core muscles should activate at just the right time in order to connect the arm motion with the legs' base of support. Without this connection, the legs cannot contribute energy to the ball as effectively, causing the shoulder to do a lot more work.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Columns
  • Tobias_Sue_012914.jpg World in palm of our hands

    A newsroom workshop made writer Susan Tobias realize how far technology has come since she started working at the Press-Republican.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Mulholland_Jonathan.jpg Running tips to get you in top form

    Different limb lengths, tighter muscles, stiffer joints, prior injuries all play role in determining your running style, Jonathan Mulholland writes.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • clute_cropped.jpg When children are put at risk

    Adults who deal drugs, commit domestic violence and other crimes with kids present are guilty of yet another crime, writes columnist Penny Clute.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Walace_Jolene 7-12_cropped.jpg Let these tips on planting trees take root

    You may think that digging a hole and plopping the tree in will suffice, and it will if you only want the tree to live a short time, columnist Jolene Wallace writes.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • ouellette.jpg Web doctor always gets it right

    I have access to the collected medical knowledge of all recorded history at my fingertips, columnist Steve Ouellette writes.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • colin_read.jpg Airport projects can benefit local economy

    Using a local workforce keeps wages and spending in the community if it can be done in a cost-effective manner, according to columnist Colin Read.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Gast_Richard.jpg Producers can recycle tubing

    Project allows maple-syrup makers to conveniently dispose of their used tubing in an environmentally friendly way, according to columnist Richard Gast.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Terry_Mattingly.jpg Easter with doubters and the 'nones'

    Should more pastors ask this blunt question: "Do you really believe Jesus was raised from the dead?" wonders religion columnist Terry Mattingly.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Black_Peter_2014_cropped.jpg Canadiens are Canada's team

    The National Hockey League playoffs are underway, and for Canadiens fans, many of whom likely reside in the Montreal "suburb" of Plattsburgh, it is a time of hope and joy.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • amy_ivy.jpg Is it time to plant? Not yet

    All we can do is wait and see how things get through, columnist Amy Ivy writes.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

Peter Black: Canadian Dispatch

Lois Clermont, Editor

Cornell Cooperative Extension

Richard Gast: Cornell Ag Extension

Bob Grady

Guest Columns

Peter Hagar: Cornell Ag Connection

Health Advice

Ray Johnson: Climate Science
Gordie Little: Small Talk

Terry Mattingly: On Religion

Steve Ouellette: You Had To Ask

Colin Read: Everybody's Business

Pinch of Time