It's true what they say!!!
We really do carry the weight of the world on our shoulders...or at least that's what it feels like sometimes.
Our shoulders are more complex than we think and the advantages, along with the movements they allow, ultimately make our bodies extremely vulnerable to shoulder injuries, especially when that area has previously been compromised.
So, how do you make sure your shoulders are protected?
Talk to Your Doctor:
Appropriate treatment will always correlate to your specific symptoms and the outcome of your evaluation. Your diagnosis will depend on the treatment approach your doctor decides. Specific shoulder injuries vary depending on the severity of your condition. After a thorough examination, your doctor will be able to categorize your problem by the symptoms that you are experiencing.
Even though shoulder injuries may seem complicated due to the different bones, tendons, and muscles; the design behind a shoulder brace is actually quite simple.
There are 2 main advantages to wearing a shoulder brace--and just because it's a "brace", doesn't mean you have to have a full-blown injury to wear one!
- Provide Support
Support is typically the number one priority when it comes to any style of shoulder brace. Different variations will provide different levels of support and it is important that you find the appropriate design for your injury and needs.
If your shoulder requires immobilization then you should look for a shoulder brace that has maximum support. Other designs will allow for movement so that you can still perform your daily activities or exercises.
2. Alleviate Pain and Discomfort
As a result of proper support, shoulder braces are designed to alleviate pains and discomfort from the injuries you are battling. Relief depends (a lot) on proper care. Make sure your brace fits appropriate and provides the compression you need.
Working to strengthen your shoulder muscles will make you less susceptible to shoulder injuries. When muscles are weak, it is easy to over exert yourself and cause damage resulting in either injury or lingering pains.
It is important to tackle shoulder pain before it becomes persistent. If you haven't experienced shoulder injuries in the past, you may be unfamiliar with the signs and symptoms.
Common Injuries Related to Shoulder Pain
Your shoulder is made up of 3 different bones along with multiple joints, tendons, and muscles that allow for a range of motion and movement of your entire arm.
The complexity makes it more vulnerable to injury than any other area of your body. Needless to say, shoulder injuries are fairly common. If you're experiencing shoulder pain you may be suffering from one (or more) of these injuries.
When excessive overhead arm motion occurs, the muscles of the shoulders rub constantly against the acromion,or the top of the shoulder blade, is referred to as impingement syndrome; sometimes referred to as Swimmers Shoulder. The resulting inflammation needs medical attention to prevent the progression of the injury.
Rotator Cuff Impingement:
One of the more serious injuries that can occur involves the rotator cuff. Damage to this component of the shoulder prevents the person from using their shoulder to its fullest range of motion. In essence, a torn rotator cuff depresses the ability to raise your arm over your head. It can happen due to a fall or intense physical activity.
Shoulder Strains and Shoulder Sprains:
Other injuries, such as muscle strains or sprains, can involve the tendons and ligaments, while others can affect the nerves. This is often referred to as brachial plexus neuropathy. The breaking or fracturing your bones usually is the result of a defensive movement such as protecting yourself when you fall.
Pain from existing herniated discs in the neck can radiate to the shoulder causing chronic pain. It’s important for your doctor to evaluate if the pain is actually coming from another part of your body that needs to be treated to alleviate your shoulder pain.
If you are trying to prevent an injury or wear and tear on your shoulder, take steps to be proactive. Wearing a supportive shoulder brace can go a long way. Be conscious of your body and don't ignore any signs or symptoms. Stay active throughout and after injuries, and be sure you are protecting those vulnerable joints and muscles
And next time you're carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders...you'll be prepared!