Imagine a skier, moving rapidly down the slopes of their favorite mountain. By accident, the skier takes a fall and lands awkwardly on their shoulder. A bowler, neglecting advice of friends and fellow bowlers, steps forward to pick up a new ball without proper warm-up exercises. Each of these athletes may suffer a rotator cuff injury, but they may not immediately know what has happened.

Later that day, each athlete notices their arm or shoulder begin to swell slightly and maybe a little reddening of the skin. As they try to lift their arm, they wince because of the twinge of pain that shoots from a certain spot on the shoulder. Or maybe the arm cannot support any additional weight. Swaying the arms or moving them normally causes some pain as well. Pain can be slight, moderate or severe depending on the injury sustained.

What has happened is obvious to sports trainers and physicians: A rotator cuff injury has occurred. The two main symptoms of a rotator cuff injury manifest themselves very clearly: pain and weakness. Pain is not always felt when a shoulder injury occurs, however most people who do feel pain, report that it’s a very vague pain that can be hard to pinpoint.

If you are suffering from shoulder pain or you think you may have some of the symptoms of a rotator cuff injury, take a look at our comprehensive rotator cuff injury article for additional information. There are tips about preventing and treating shoulder pain as well as ways to speed healing and reduce further injury.

Also, keep an eye-out for my next installment on rotator cuff injury prevention due out next month.

Until then; stay healthy, keep stretching and God bless.

Brad Walker
The Stretch Coach

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