Common sports shoulder injury. Simple solution!

A common shoulder injury that I see with rugby players, water polo goalies, MLB baseball pitchers  and yogis is pain in the shoulder that can present as deltoid pain.   The deltoid is not the problem.

ACUTE TRAUMA OR OVERUSE CAN CAUSE THIS TYPE OF SHOULDER PAIN

photo credit: Pink Shorts Photography, shared with permission

Usually the pain occurs in certain positions, is difficult to pinpoint and will come and go.

There is a small space between the humeral head (the arm bone) and the acromio-clavicular joint (top of the shoulder).  If there is inflammation in that space, there will be pain.

SHOULDER PAIN IN CERTAIN POSITIONS

Orthopedic evaluation will show that the problem is often the supraspinatus muscle, which is part of the rotator cuff.   With athletes the cause can be acute trauma or overuse.   If the cause is trauma to the shoulder, also assess the AC joint and the SC joint for sprains and the other muscles of the rotator cuff.

REFERRAL PAIN PATTERNS COULD CONFUSE THE ISSUE

Acupuncturists are uniquely able to help with this type of injury.  The treatment is stealthy and not painful, we can skillfully slip needles into the subacromial space and the motor points and trigger points of the supraspinatus muscle to clear inflammation, invigorate blood flow and restore muscle function.  Electroacupuncture is key.

Acupuncture texts show the acupuncture point Bing Feng Si-12 in the muscle belly of the supraspinatus.  The indications for this point include the “inability to raise the arm.”

SI-12 BING FENG IN  SUPRASPINATUS MUSCLE BELLY

If your acupuncturist does not know how to treat this, they can learn how in the Acupuncture Sports Medicine Apprenticeship program.

I highly recommend following up treatment working with your movement coach, athletic trainer or physical therapist to create mobility, strength and functional movement patterns.

 

– Jenny Nieters, L. Ac.

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