Slo-pitch Shoulder Injury & Chiropractic
Tis’ the season to play some ball! Diamonds are warming up for the spring and that means slo-pitch is about to get under way. For many, slo-pitch is a means to socialize with friends while getting in some physical activity. Unfortunately, this often means many of us have not thrown a ball since last year – or longer.
How many of us can already feel our shoulder aching before we’ve even touched the ball? Shoulder pain from throwing a ball may also be from an acute injury, overuse, or a dysfunctional movement pattern from lack of stability or mobility within the shoulder or surrounding joints. Common injuries include:
Since the human body functions as a kinematic chain, this means that the joints and muscles throughout our body work together for movement and consequently influence the surrounding joints. So if one joint isn’t functioning optimally, then the others need to compensate and this is when dysfunction or pain can occur. For example, if our shoulder blade isn’t providing stability while throwing a ball, then the force distribution of that movement can alter the muscles and tendons in our shoulder and elbow. This can lead to fatigue, decreased performance, pain, or injury.
- Improve shoulder and thoracic spine mobility – Throwing a ball requires immense rotation throughout your midback and shoulder. An adequate amount of thoracic rotation, internal and external shoulder rotation is necessary for completion of the movement.
- Warm up Light and Slow – Spend at least 10 minutes throwing a ball a short distance and without much force. If you can tolerate that, then you can slowly increase the force or distance.
- Recovery – At the beginning of the season you need adequate time between games and practices so your muscles can adapt and tolerate the new workload. Getting a good night’s sleep and staying hydrated are also vital for recovering.
Despite being known for helping spinal complaints, chiropractors are trained to assess and treat extremity and sporting injury concerns. A comprehensive evaluation of your spine, shoulder, and surrounding joints by a chiropractor can determine the root cause of your pain which will determine treatment moving forward. Options such as spinal and extremity manipulation, interferential stim, kinesio-taping, and various soft tissue modalities may be warranted depending on the issue. Rehab exercises and education are given to help make long-lasting change and decrease the chance of reoccurrence.
If you’re dealing with an injury from slo-pitch, or want to prevent one, give us a call today to see what we can do for you!