Shoulder Injuries and Gymnastics
Focusing more on dynamic “flexibility” training offsets the possibility of discovering shoulder limitations until the injury actually occurs. One solution to avoid shoulder injury is to perform slow stick dislocates to condition and add shoulder flexibility.
For male gymnasts, inflexible shoulders are not the main concern. Training and performance on the rings opens up the shoulders, but this can bring about totally different shoulder problems relating to extreme rom and excessive rotator cuff motion.
A male gymnast performing on the rings puts a huge strain on his shoulder girdle. Doing isolation rotator training with bands and dumbbells, working the transverse, sagittal and frontal planes, will help in stabilizing the shoulders. Adding exercises targeted at the rear deltoid and rhomboid also aids in counterbalancing gymnastics training and lessens the risk of injury.
Speaking from his experience as a gymnast during the 1970’s, Mark Alexander once recalled acquiring chronic shoulder bursitis and tendonitis, before fully dislocating his shoulder while working the rings, effectively ending his gymnastics career. He recommends that coaches take injuries more seriously, as a lot of the injuries in young athletes show up later as arthritis in their thirties and forties.
Types of Injury
The two main types of shoulder injuries gymnasts suffer from are inflammation supraspinatus tendon and rotator cuff injuries. The supraspinatus tendon runs along the top of the shoulder blade and inserts via the tendon at the top of the arm (humerus bone). This muscle is used to lift the arm up sideways and is used extensively in gymnastics.
The rotator cuff is a group of muscles which work together
to provide the Glenohumeral (shoulder) joint with dynamic
stability, helping to control the joint during rotation
(hence the name). Due to the function of these muscles,
gymnastics which involves a lot of shoulder rotation often
puts the rotator cuff muscles under a lot of stress.
• When the gymnast lifts the arm sideways and rotates
the arms he/she will complain of pain and weakness.
When should I seek medical attention for my Rotator Cuff Injury?
Seek medical attention if:
• Both shoulders will be looked at and compared both
visually and using physically.
Treatment for an Acute Rotator Cuff Injury
• Apply ice to reduce swelling. Shoulders supports that
have ice packs built into them provide a better alternative.
Vulkan Sports Shoulder
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This high quality neoprene shoulder strap helps reduce shoulder pain, reduce swelling and accelerate healing. Custom fits the shoulder itself.
How does it work?
The Vulkan Neoprene range features premium quality neoprene. This offers support, compression, heat retention and comfort. Vulkan Neoprene has a unique spiral lining for removing excess perspiration, which avoids skin problems and is more comfortable to wear.
Retaining heat and providing support is helpful for the treatment and prevention of shoulder pain. By increasing local blood flow, healing and recovery times can be reduced following a shoulder injury. The Vulkan Shoulder Strap applies uniform compression around the 'ball' of the shoulder (Deltoid and Rotator cuff region). Women often find that the Vulkan Shoulder Strap is very comfortable to wear as the strap does not cut across the breast region.
Anytime for therapeutic heat and pain relief for shoulder bursitis, rotator cuff injury or impingement syndrome. It is Ideal for sports, where a restriction of shoulder movements is not desirable Unrestricted arm movement.
• You may require imaging studies (X-ray, MRI, CT Scan)
to identify what the problem is and rule out any fractures