Millions of Americans seek medical care for shoulder injuries every year, including problems involving the bones, muscles, or tendons. While anyone can sustain a shoulder injury, some risk factors make an injury more likely.
As a leading provider of cutting-edge shoulder treatments for patients in Sugar Land and Houston, Texas, J. Michael Bennett, MD, helps patients understand their risk factors for shoulder injuries so they can avoid injuring the joint in the future.
Shoulder anatomy 101
Your shoulder joint forms where these three bones meet:
- The scapula or shoulder blade
- The clavicle or collarbone
- The humerus or upper arm bone
Your shoulder is a ball-and-socket joint, with the scapula forming a “scooped-out” socket that cradles the rounded head of the humerus. The joint is surrounded by the rotator cuff, an interconnected series of muscles and tendons that keep the joint stable and support a wide range of motions. Injuries can affect any of these components, or even multiple components at once.
Risk factors for shoulder injuries
Most shoulder injuries are caused by repetitive use and years of wear and tear on the joint. Less commonly, a shoulder injury can happen from a fall or another type of accident.
Playing a sport or having a job or hobby that requires repetitive lifting or overhead activity is a major cause of many types of shoulder injuries caused by repetitive use or strain. Sports activities also increase your risk of having a traumatic injury in your shoulder joint, mostly from falling or colliding with objects or surfaces (or even other players).
Sports that require a lot of rotational forces on your shoulder are more likely to cause shoulder injuries, too. That includes sports like tennis, golf, and baseball.
In addition to occupational and hobby-related issues, you’re also at an increased risk for shoulder injuries if you have these risk factors:
- Circulation problems
- Musculoskeletal diseases
- Bone spurs (often associated with arthritis)
- Older age
- Personal history of shoulder problems
If you play a sport, failing to warm up beforehand and overexerting yourself during play or practice can also increase your risk of injury.
Treating shoulder injuries
Most shoulder injuries are associated with pain in the joint and stiffness and weakness in the shoulder and arm. Before prescribing treatment, Dr. Bennett will evaluate your joint through range-of-motion exercises, diagnostic imaging, and other tests.
As a leading shoulder pain specialist in the Houston area, Dr. Bennett offers various treatment options, including treatments using lasers and ultrasound, along with shoulder surgery for more complex or advanced issues. If you’re having shoulder pain, prompt treatment is the key to restoring normal function and relieving painful symptoms.
To find out what’s causing your shoulder pain, call the office or book an appointment online, and let Dr. Bennett design a treatment plan just for you.