Participation in organized and recreational sports is at an all time high. There is inherent risk of injury in all athletes who participate in sports. According to The High School Sports Related Injury Surveillance Study it is estimated that 1,392,262 sports related injuries occurred during the 2011-12 sports season. 10% of these injuries (146,912) involved the shoulder and elbow. It is not surprising that many of these injuries occurred in baseball, softball, and volleyball players. In addition it is believed that 41-90% of competitive swimmers sustain a shoulder injury at some point during their career.
There are many factors that place an athlete at risk for shoulder injury. Extrinsic factors (those that are external to the athlete) are the amount of hours spent playing and practicing a sport, the intensity of those practices and the types of activity being performed. Intrinsic factors (those that are internal to the athlete) are mostly related to anatomy and level of training. Age, growth, muscle tightness, muscle weakness, poor conditioning, joint hypermobility, can all play a role in injury.
Current research demonstrates that a preventative program focusing on education, strength training, and cardiovascular training can help reduce the risk of shoulder and elbow injury in both male and female athletes. These programs focus on strengthening the muscles that improve the position of the shoulder and elbow during competitive overhead sports. Core strength and control are a necessity during high level sports as the muscles of the hip, spine and abdomen provide power during throwing, swimming, and quick changes of direction. In addition a strong core and good scapular (shoulder blade) control provide a stable base for the upper extremities which allows the arm to focus on more fine motor activities (placing the arm in the water, getting a ball over the plate, etc.). Having a balance of strength and flexibility will allow the young athlete to perform optimally and will help to prevent overload to the joints and muscles of the upper extremity. Lastly these programs help to improve cardiovascular fitness which will decrease the level of fatigue during sports competition.
Location: Owsley Brown Frazier Sports Medicine Center
215 Central Avenue, #200
Louisville, KY 40208
Please call to schedule your evaluation and begin your training today.