Why Is My Throwing Shoulder Hurting?

At Urgent Orthopedic Specialists we see lots of patients with sore throwing shoulders. In our June blog we discussed common inflammation injuries such as bursitis. July moved to rotator cuff injuries. This month let’s get into just why that shoulder may be hurting in the first place.

What causes the pain?

Having pain in your throwing shoulder is typical when the rotator cuff tendons have become inflamed. Sometimes it’s hard to pinpoint the exact cause of the pain; we simply know it’s the throwing motion that is behind the inflammation.

Maybe it’s the tendons 

The tendons in your throwing shoulder can receive too much stress. This can happen if a player tries to get into “game shape” too fast. The shoulder and rotator cuff tendons don’t respond well to large increases in stress. This can happen early in the season as the player tries to get ready, or it can be late in the season as the stresses don’t abate.

Solving this type of pain can be done by cutting back on throwing for a period of time, using ice after throwing or even a few times a day, and taking anti-inflammatory medications. Rehabilitation exercises should focus on the rotator cuff, starting below shoulder level and then progressing above the shoulder level slowly.

Maybe the shoulder joint has become too loose

If the above treatments don’t work, the pain is coming from another source. This can be a case of the shoulder joint becoming too loose. The obvious end result of this would be the shoulder coming out of the socket. However, the joint can still become loose without allowing full dislocation. The ligaments that hold the shoulder joint together can become stretched to the point that the ball of the shoulder joint is sliding around more than is normal. This excessive movement places a good deal of stress on the tendons. As with the stress of overuse, this stress will lead to pain in the throwing shoulder.

Or the labrum could be torn

Another theory of throwing shoulder pain is that the labrum has developed a tear. The labrum is the cartilage that goes around the socket and stabilizes the shoulder. Over time, with stress and heavy use, this cartilage can become torn. Some believe this can be a source of pain, but others simply believe it is an indication that the joint is overly loose.

If you have a sore throwing shoulder that doesn’t respond to ice after the game, it’s time to come see the experienced team at Urgent Orthopedic Specialists. Dr. Floyd, Dr. Rowland, and our entire team will get at the source of your pain and work to alleviate it. Call us at (432) 520-3020 to make an appointment.

Posted in: Shoulder Pain

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