For tennis players and other sports which involve over head arm activities, shoulder pain is a common complaint and the rotator cuff, which wraps itself around the shoulder joint is the most frequently injured. Repetitive overhead movements combined with very high loads during the acceleration and deceleration phase of arm movement contribute to the cause. There are many factors that lead to injury and it is important to identify these problems quickly to bring about recovery.
For younger players it is often muscle weakness around the shoulder and shoulder blade combined with laxity in the joint capsule. Physiotherapy, including a programme of exercises to restore the muscle control and liaison with the coach or trainer is an effective way to resolve symptoms.
For older players it is a different story. Commonly, the rotator cuff can become painful and inflamed by encroachment from the bones or ligaments that form the top of the shoulder joint and in some cases this can develop into a tear. This is elaborated under Shoulder Impingement Syndrome. Certain postures can predispose you to injury and as we get older and less flexible we can become vulnerable. Shoulder examination and test procedures are very reliable today and our experienced physiotherapists will be able to tell you whether you can be treated effectively or whether you need to see a doctor. Like the youger players, muscle imbalance can also contribute to the symptoms and by assessing the strength in the rotator cuff, we can ascertain whether you are training the muscles which keep the humeral head in a good positon rather than riding up and creating damage at the top of the shoulder. Never ignore pain, it is there to warn you that something is not quite right.
Remember, injuries that are diagnosed early will respond much faster to the treatment.