What Is Throwing Shoulder? The Overhead Athlete

What Is Throwing Shoulder? The Overhead Athlete

Due to the nature of shoulders and their frequent usage, they are parts of the body that are susceptible to overuse injuries. This fact holds especially true for athletes whose sports require repetitive overhead motions. At the New York Sports Medicine Institute, our sports medicine experts are well versed in this area. If you’ve recently developed the condition known as thrower’s shoulder, our team will work diligently to create the treatment plan needed to get you back to full strength.

What Is Thrower’s Shoulder?

As previously stated, thrower’s shoulder, also sometimes referred to as swimmer’s shoulder or shoulder impingement syndrome is an overuse injury that takes place in the shoulder. It occurs when the shoulder cannot handle the external rotation that is required for any given sport. That is why when you begin to feel pain in your shoulder during overhead motions, it’s critical to seek out treatment right away.

What Activities Can Cause Thrower’s Shoulder?

Due to this injury’s name, it’s easy to assume that the thrower’s shoulder only takes place in athletes who participate in a sport where throwing is involved. While throwing is an action that can exacerbate the injury, it is not the only stimulant that can lead to it occurring. Any activities that involve overhead rotation of the shoulder can lead to the development of this injury. If you’re someone who regularly participates in the below, you should always act with caution to avoid thrower’s shoulder:

  • Baseball.
  • Tennis.
  • Swimming. 
  • Manual labor. 
  • Overhead weight lifting.

What Are The Symptoms?    

When it comes to the thrower’s shoulder, there are a variety of symptoms a person can face. It’s important to recognize these symptoms early, as the longer this injury goes untreated, the more severe damage a person can face. Our team is well versed in these symptoms and can offer the treatments needed to get you back to full strength so you can continue competing. The most common symptoms that this injury can bring include the below:

  • Instability of the shoulder.
  • Swelling.
  • Difficulty reaching your arm behind the back.
  • Pain when performing an overhead motion.

Potential Complications 

Our team at New York Sports Medicine Institute knows that no athlete wants to have to spend time away from their sport. That is why some will try to play through an injury to avoid missing time. While sometimes this can be done, deciding to do this can often cause more harm than good. If you leave thrower’s shoulder untreated for too long, you increase the risk of suffering from the below:

  • Tendon strains.
  • Rotator cuff tears.
  • Bicep ruptures.

Treating Thrower’s Shoulder

As a leader in the field of sports medicine, Dr. Neil Roth can utilize numerous treatment methods to ease your pain and get you back to full strength. What takes place will depend directly on the symptoms you are experiencing and the severity of your injury. Below are just a few examples of what may go into treatment when you visit our team:

  • Anti-Inflammatories: In cases where the thrower’s shoulder is caught before structural damage has taken place, anti-inflammatories are often an effective form of treatment. These medications will reduce swelling gradually, allowing pain to be relieved.
  • Physical Therapy: For patients dealing with more advanced stages of this injury, Dr. Roth may refer them to a physical therapist. Through the use of therapeutic stretches and strengthening exercises, patients will find their condition greatly improved.
  • Surgery: There are times when the thrower’s shoulder causes structural damage to the shoulder joint. When this happens, surgery may be the only option for treatment. Dr. Roth can perform numerous operations to correct the integrity of your shoulder and restore full functionality.

Contact Us 

Don’t let a thrower’s shoulder ruin your season. Contact our team at the New York Sports Medicine Institute to have our team provide the treatment that you need!