Shoulder Pain: Orthopedic Expert Offers Insight, Recommendations for Successful Management

In an article appearing in the journal Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Clinics of North America, a Loyola University orthopedic surgeon offers insight and recommendations into the difficulties of treating shoulder pain in throwing athletes, and why it remains one of the most challenging tasks in sports medicine. Shoulder pain occurs in athletes who play sports that require rapid acceleration and deceleration of the throwing arm. They include baseball pitchers, tennis players, softball pitchers, and javelin throwers, as well as athletes who play handball and water polo.

Shoulder pain is difficult to diagnose. The shoulder is comprised of 4 joints, and a problem with any of them can cause pain and affect performance. Moreover, many of these structures are deep in the shoulder and therefore difficult to examine by touch. Problems can begin in adolescence and overuse injuries can lead to more serious mechanical injuries. Adhering to pitch counts should reduce injuries and decrease fatigue.

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