Shoulder injuries are one of the most common complaints I hear in my practice. Doing sport or exercise or having a job that requires repetitive motions means you can be at risk from injuring or hurting your shoulder. Here are 5 tips that will help prevent that:
Check your posture
Good posture is not only important for your neck and back but also for your shoulders. When you slouch, your back becomes rounded – this is caused by your joints being pulled forward and being rotated at the same time. Extra strain is placed on the structure of your shoulder and this can lead to abnormal patterns of movements which can make you more prone to injury.
Always warm up
This seems like a no-brainer but this step is so often ignored. Warm-ups are not just for workouts and before you do some sport – also, do not miss this step out if your job is physically demanding or you are going to do an activity that you are not familiar with – do a few shoulder stretches to warm up your muscles, it improves your blood circulation and reduces stiffness in your joints.
Strengthen your shoulders
Weak shoulder muscles can be prone to injury. Strengthening them helps you avoid injury – front and lateral (side) raises using hand weights are great for this. However, if you don’t have access to any or it’s not your thing, jumping jacks, arm circles and resisted rotation exercises with a resistance band are just as good. Just ensure you are using the correct form when you do them.
Avoid carrying heavy objects
Trying to move a heavy weight by yourself is asking for an injury – don’t be impatient and think you can do it – ask for help – one person, two people – however many it takes to carry/move what you need to. Use levers, pulley’s or wheels to move items if you have to do it alone.
Eat healthy foods
Calcium-rich foods like milk, kale, sardines, yogurt, broccoli, cheese, and almonds aid in your bone health. High-protein diets aid in muscle health. Find balance between the two to make sure you’re fuelling your body properly while helping to prevent injury.
You use your shoulders in everyday movements more than you realise. Add to this a sport, hobby, or job that requires extended use of your shoulders and you have a recipe for injury if you’re not taking the proper steps to prevent it. Use these tips to protect yourself!