Shoulder injuries are not the exclusive domain of the over forties, but if you have reached this particulat milestone you are at a higher than average risk of injuring your shoulder. Approximately a third of us will suffer a problematic shoulder injury once we get beyond our fortieth birthday. I managed do put mine off until past fifty and with the knowledge I now have I could have avoided it altogther.
As we get older, our posture changes, we do not carry ourselves in the same way at forty as we did in our twenties so it should come as no surprise that our shoulders change at the same time. Because of the complexity of the shoulder joint, any change in posture can eventually result in potential problems.
One of the most common shoulder injuries at this age is a torn rotator cuff. This is a group of four muscles that help to pull the upper arm bone into the socket of the shoulder, doing two different roles, helping with rotational movement and also helping to stabilise the joint. Although these are relatively small muscles they are very important to the health of the shoulder and problems with the rotator cuff can cause some serious problems.
Pain and wekaness when you lift your arm above shoulder height either out to the front or side, weakness in the shoulder and arm, pain when sleeping are just some of the symptoms. Treatment will involve rest along with treatment of any inflammation using non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and ice packs.. If the pain persists you may well end up having steroid injections to bring down the inflammation.
Once the pain and inflammation are under control you can start shoulder physical therapy exercises to strengthen your rotator cuff and avoid future injuries. The annoying thing is that these exercises are the same exercises that you would use to train your shoulder and strengthen it to avoid an injury in the first place.
Having gone through the inconvenience and pain of a torn rotator cuff and discovered shoulder physical therapy exercises that sorted it out for me, I now do ten minutes of shoulder exercises every day just to ensure that my shoulders stay fit and healthy. It has also woken me up to the fact that as we get a bit older we do need to make an effort to keep supple as well as fit. Next step Yoga classes
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