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Shoulder Injuries

Published: 10 Nov 2006 - 07:38 by rippa rit

Updated: 07 Apr 2007 - 14:13

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This could be of interest as shoulder injuries are something that creep in as we continually play squash and comes with age too.

"The amazing shoulder joint
Consider what the shoulder does, and how many athletes - swimmers, tennis players, bowlers, baseball pitchers, javelin throwers - take it for granted. The shoulder can assume no less than 1,600 different positions! There is more movement at the shoulder joint than at any other joint in the body.  

The shoulder joint actually comprises four joints - see if you can feel them on yourself:

  •  Sternoclavicular (SC) joint (between the sternum and the collar bone) - this is actually the only bony connection that the shoulder has with the main skeleton  
  • Acromioclavicular (AC) joint between the collar bone and the point of the shoulder called the acromion, which is part of the scapula or shoulder blade  
  • Glenohumeral (GH) joint between the glenoid part of the scapula - the socket - and the head of the humerus (HOH) - the ball  
  • Scapulothoracic (ST) joint (the ‘false joint’ between the scapula and the rib cage that it rides over).  
Clearly, the shoulder joint is truly remarkable invention -- until it goes wrong! Shoulder Injuries - Prevention and Treatment looks at the most common cause of shoulder pain and provides a number of illustrated exercises designed to treat and prevent them.

For those with a shoulder injury they would like to try to treat themselves, we provide a checklist for ruling out structural damage. The seven chapters include a number of canny DIY ideas for improving performance and avoiding injury. "

Want to know more here is the link for a FREE copy of Sports Bulletinsquash game squash extras How to add images to Members' Forum posts and replies here... PSA Squash TV - North American Open 2012

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From rippa rit - 07 Apr 2007 - 14:13

Viper - my shoulder is not absolutely right.  I have been doing rehab at the gym for  3 months and it is much improved, eg no aching, has regained a lot of strength, is still slowly improving.
My advice would be:
Firstly have an ultrasound.Just to make sure there is no tear. Also need to know if there is impingement which is more consistent with a rotator cuff problem. Then if no tear,
I would look at gym work where you can isolate the exercises and try to get some muscle balance back into the joint, as well as strengthen up the whole joint.  Just be very careful about the overhead movements with weight, and take that slowly.
I can now hit a tennis ball on the forehand ok, the backhand is not as  good/strong a movement though it is coming ok.
I tried to serve for the first time a couple of weeks ago (I had been doing a few overhead exercises with a rubber tube) and felt useless, though last week, after practicing swinging my racket to serve during the week without a ball of course, and I managed to actually serve but not with a lot of power.  That joint is tired.  I am still swinging my racket daily, doing gym 3 times a week; playing table tennis twice a week (and that is a lot kinder on the joint).
There is a chance of having a cortisone injection  but I do not want to do that; well not yet..
I believe there is some ultrasound type machine or other at the Holy Spirit Hospital and I am going to phone to find out more about breaking down the calcification.
The PT at the gym thinks remedial massage would be a good idea now too, so I am thinking about that.

Viper I have never given up on an injury, and when playing squash the rotator cuff did play up about 15 years ago, and it would kill on the high return of serve on the backhand; but physio and exercises with the tube, some extra stretching exercises, did get it right.
If the joint is sore do not keep on trying to play as it will just aggravate it more.
My joint is more stiff than sore now (and it grates a bit on the overhead swinging) so that I consider an improvement.

I believe you must keep your body moving, and the joints particularly - I probably should have been doing gym 20 years ago to balance the muscles, but of course would not take the time.  Painting under the deck off a ladder is what really started mine off this time.

Don't give up - just spend the money on physio, acupuncture, gym, massage, and be patient.  If you keep fit while this is all going on you will get back into it again easily.

Yep, it is a pain, and sitting at a computer probably does not help either;  I am not sure what sort of job you have.

Keep us posted.

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From Viper - 07 Apr 2007 - 13:27

Rita how is the shoulder ?

I have developed a very sore shouler as well, it is presistant, I am resting it, icing, it and using voltaran and at the physio

With the right treatment can one cure this problem for good or is it something that once you have AND you continue to play squash you are stuck with  ?

 

Feeling a bit down about this injury

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From rippa rit - 24 Nov 2006 - 06:40

Yep, that all sounds spot on.  You have to keep the shoulder joint moving at all cost.
The trouble is it just gradually creeps up on you and then all of a sudden it almost locks up. Repetitious movements overhead (overuse) do bring about aggravation and before you know it, bingo.  
I did not realise how many things we do that put the shoulder through such a range of movement until my shoulder started to stiffen up, and I was sure I was doing all the right exercises too....so having had a rotator cuff problem around 7 or 8 years ago I had regularly adopted a series of exercises, but, obviously there was another one I should also have been doing which is much like Iamsparticus describes in his post.
Not every professional looks at the problem the same either which is more confusing.  I got advice like, get an injection, to have an ultra-sound, accupuncture with the magnetic electrodes pulsing away.  However,  I think the Physio that fixed my rotator cuff is on the right track, and has strapped my shoulder back with tape (to help bring the muscles holding the joint back into balance), to stay put for a week, do the exercises, use the arm moderately, and already it is feeling as though it is all loosening up (with a few snaps and crackles too I might add). 
I love to keep active, but the degeneration and calcification bit SUCKS.
Oh well, that is one of the challenges of being on this planet.

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From nickhitter - 20 Nov 2006 - 22:43

Having had many squash induced cuff tears I can advise that the best treatment is prevention!

The most common racket sport rotator cuff tear is one in the supraspinatus, which is the highest of the 4 cuff muscles next to the AC joint. The reason this happens is because this area has the least amount of blood supply of anywhere in the body which means it doesn't recover greatly after exercise and is also why it takes so long to heal after a tear. Having torn mine 3 times I have been exercising it 3 times a week for 2 years now and have not yet had another problem.

The best exercise to prevent this is to have your arm at your side, bend at the elbow 90 degrees and rotate the arm outwards (about 45 degrees) keeping the elbow joint tucked in the side at all times. Use a (very) light weight and do about 30 reps. Alternatively lay on your side and use gravity! Some gym cable machines have an attachment to do this also, but be careful not to use too much weight. the aim is to increase the blood supply into the joint - not to build up the muscle!

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From BizarreCo - 12 Nov 2006 - 02:53

I suggest that you also do some research on a Rotator Cuff Tear. I suffered with one of these recently and it really knocks you for six.

The rotator cuff is the group of 4 muscles that make up the shoulder. Damage to these is very common to people who partake in overhead activities. In my case I did the damage to the front lower section which feel huge pain when I try to volley the ball overhead with power. I've had to adapt my game whilst the strength gets rebuilt.

All fun though!

Adz

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From rippa rit - 11 Nov 2006 - 06:52

Shoulder pain - here is all about bursitis.  Squash players, and those doing overhead movements regularly, and repetitively, can suffer shoulder discomfort - just another of my "war" injuries and degeneration too I guess, unfortunately.
Talk about ache at night.  Woww!  A heat pack works wonders and probably stimulates the blood flow while lying down.
It is now at least 6/8 weeks since aggravating my shoulder, and I thought I had torn something but an ultra sound says it is inflammation of the bursa and no impingement which is a good thing I guess.
Well I was prepared to change to left-handedness full time if necessary, but now it sounds like it might just be temporary

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