Shoulder injuries caused by overstretching the arms

Once the arms and shoulders are overstretched, the muscles, ligaments and tendons can become lengthened beyond the normal range of motion, resulting to shoulder instability. The instability of the shoulder will increase the risk for shoulder injuries such as strains, sprains and dislocations. Once a shoulder injury occurs, it is best to consult a doctor for proper assessment as well as the treatment.

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Instability of the shoulder

It is important to note that overstretched muscles become deactivated and eventually lose their ability to contract normally, thus reducing the overall stability of the joint. Overly stretched ligaments which attach to and stabilize the bones of the shoulder can also create joint instability. The reduction in the arm muscle activation and ligament stabilization will increase the risk for shoulder injuries.

Shoulder instability
Overstretching of the shoulder joint and arm typically occurs during a fall, thus the ligaments are sprained or extended beyond the normal range. The symptoms include swelling and pain.

Who are at risk?

It is important to note that athletes face a higher risk to overstretching and shoulder injuries. Sports in which individuals are prone to acute overstretching of the arms due to tackle, falls or reaching include volleyball, football and baseball. Those who engage in yoga who perform positions incorrectly can also overstretch the arms and sustain shoulder injuries.

Ligament sprains

The ligaments that attach the bones comprising the shoulder joint are inflexible. Overstretching of the shoulder joint and arm typically occurs during a fall, thus the ligaments are sprained or extended beyond the normal range. The symptoms include swelling and pain. It can be managed with rest and the application of an ice pack. You can learn more about this condition by enrolling in a first aid course.

Muscle and tendon strains

Once the arm is overstretched, the muscles surrounding the shoulder can become strained or pulled, resulting to a torn muscle. The tendon in which the muscle is connected to can also end up overly stretched. When it comes to a muscle or tendon strain, it can either be a partial or complete rupture. The symptoms include pain, point tenderness and swelling. The condition can be managed with application of ice but for severe cases, it would require medical care.

Dislocations

Once the ligaments and muscles surrounding the shoulder are overly stretched, it increases instability as well as the risk for dislocation. Dislocation occurs once a shoulder joint moved out of its socket and requires to be placed back manually. A shoulder dislocation overstretches the ligaments, thus increasing the risk for more dislocations. The symptoms include numbness, pain and limited range of motion.

Labral tear

It is important to note that the glenoid labrum is the cartilage that surrounds the shoulder joint to stabilize the shoulder. Overstretching of the arms can increase wear and tear on the labrum, resulting to tearing. The symptoms include pain, catching and limited range of motion. It is best to consult a doctor for proper assessment and treatment which might include surgery.

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