Weightlifters need to take good care of their shoulders because even the slightest injury can limit a lifter’s ability to perform most upper body exercises. Perhaps the best way to prevent injuries is to increase awareness. Active Orthopedics & Sports Medicine shoulder specialists recommend knowing how you can be injured will help you perform exercises properly. It will also help you create an exercise plan that prevents injury while still helping you reach your goals.

Common Causes of Weightlifting Shoulder Injuries

Everyone wants to lift more weight. While rushing into heavy lifting sets is tempting, it’s dangerous and more often than not leads to injury. The same goes for training too much or too frequently. It’s always helpful to think of weightlifting as a marathon rather than a sprint. Slow steady progress leads to gains without injuries. Creating a plan where you steadily increase weight in small increments is much better than a plan where you try to set records every time you lift.

Weightlifting Shoulder Injuries Symptoms

Symptoms are easy to identify because—as every weightlifter who has had a shoulder injury knows—most upper body weight lifting movement involve the shoulder. Common symptoms include:

  • Inability to raise the arm
  • Inability to rotate the arm
  • Pain
  • Stiffness
  • Swelling
  • Tenderness

Neck pain may also present and make a shoulder injury extra uncomfortable. Active Orthopedics & Sports Medicine shoulder specialists believe recognizing symptoms is the first treatment step. Rest, ice, compression and elevation (RICE) and over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications may be used to control symptoms. If symptoms do not improve, an appointment with an orthopedic specialist should be made. Delaying a diagnose may make the injury and associated symptoms worse.

Types of Weightlifting Shoulder Injuries

Many weightlifting shoulder injuries are nagging inflammation injuries. Common injuries include:

  1. Biceps Tendonitis. Inflammation of the biceps tendon at its insertion point on the shoulder. Presents as a dull ache in the shoulder.
  2. Inflammation of fluid-filled shoulder joint cushioning sacs. Presents as a sharp pain and swelling.
  3. Rotator cuff tendonitis. Inflammation of the rotator cuff tendons. Presents as pain when raising or rotating the arm.
  4. Sprain/strain. Overstretching or partial tearing of a shoulder ligament or tendon. Presents as pain with movement.

More serious weightlifting shoulder injuries include a partial or complete rotator cuff tear and a labrum tear. These injuries cause severe pain and need to be seen as soon as possible.


Making an Appointment at Active Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

At Active Orthopedics & Sports Medicine, our shoulder specialists, Dr. Michael Gross, Dr. Michael Benke and Dr. Oscar Vazquez are experts in treating shoulder injuries. If you are having symptoms in your  shoulder, we encourage you to contact our office today to make an appointment at one of our convenient locations in Hackensack, Montclair, Emerson and Elmwood Park, NJ.

Don’t let a shoulder injury keep you away from the gym!

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