Shoulder injuries are very common in athletes who play overhead sports ie swimming and baseball, as well as individuals who do a lot of work overhead ie. Electricians and carpenters.
The shoulder consists of two anatomical joints: the Gleno-humeral joint and the Acromio-clavicular joint. The Gleno-humeral joint is the connection of the arm with the scapula (“shoulder blade”) The Acromio-clavicular joint is the connection of the clavicle (“collar bone”) and the scapula.
A large number of muscles and ligaments are important to the shoulder. The most important are the rotator cuff muscles (supraspinatus, subscapularis, infraspinatus and teres minor) and the Acromio-clavicular ligaments along with the Gleno-humeral joint capsule. The rotator cuff is a group of muscles and tendons, which hold the Glenohumeral joint together and help lift the arm overhead, such as throwing a ball or swimming.
A typical shoulder rehabilitation protocol consists of two major components; flexibility and strength.
Flexibility is the first component of shoulder rehabilitation and consists of range of motion (ROM), static stretching, and dynamic stretching. ROM is desired degrees of range of motion of movement pattern that is pain free and maybe assisted with a stick/ towel or unassisted.
Static stretching are stretches that are pain free and held for 20-30 seconds and repeated 3-6 reps. Dynamic stretching are stretches that are pain free and held for 1-5 seconds and repeated 10-15 reps.
Strength is the second component of shoulder rehabilitation and consists of dumbbell, tubing, and functional exercises.