Health and Wellbeing Segment – Shoulder

Speaking of SPORTSMED, you can ‘like’ them on Facebook to keep up to date with all the latest news and information. Once again we pop down there this week and it was all about shoulders. Shoulder dislocations are common because it’s a very flexible joint. It’s probably the most commonly dislocated joint in the body and it happens with our sports such as AFL because the arm’s forced into awkward positions and can take contact in that unprotected position. When you dislocate your shoulder you’re at a higher risk of recurrence of instability and there are certain factors that predispose you to more episodes of instability such as your initial age at first dislocation as well as when you return to contact sport and those types of activities. We’d anticipated that the rehabilitation is a stage process with an initial period of time gaining confidence using your arm for everyday household activities and that’s usually over about a four-week period. Followed by an incremental increase in activity in that second month followed by sports specific training through a third month, so we’re really looking at about three months before you’re back playing playing sport. We know our shoulders wear out and we know the studies that they get a lot of use over a lot of time and are essentially unstable joints. Exercise is the key to helping with arthritis. Having an ongoing exercise to keep the strength of those small muscles around the shoulder joint and general flexibility because as we get older we also get very stiff upper backs which really relate and are intimately related to the shoulder, so you’ve got to keep always mobile. You need to be doing stretching, you need to be doing strengthening. As we get older unfortunately we have to work harder to keep our quality of life where we want it. We’ve got an ideal situation, a very unique situation, where we talk to our surgeons and talk to our GPs. We’ve got an exercise physiologist, so we can work through right from the time of the initial injury and work very closely with them all the way through to ensure the best outcome, so if there’s any glitches or any issues we can get on it straight away and talk to the appropriate professional to really maximise the recovery rate. They honestly are the best in the business.

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