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August 02, 2016

Protect your shoulders when playing summer sports

Orthopaedic surgeons share safety tips to prevent shoulder injuries 

ROSEMONT, Ill. (August 2, 2016) Most families enjoy outdoor sports during the summer months—swimming, golfing and volleyball being some of the common ones. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) and the American Orthopaedic Society of Sports Medicine (AOSSM) encourage children and adults to stay safe and avoid painful injuries while playing.

Roughly 15.6 million visits were made to physician offices in 2012 for shoulder issues including pain, achiness, soreness, discomfort, cramps, spasms, stiffness, and limitation of movement. Of those, roughly 9.6 million visits had shoulder symptoms or complaints listed as the primary reason for their visit. 

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) show the following results for individuals treated in emergency rooms and doctors’ offices in the U.S. during 2015:
  • More than 131,000 treated for injuries related to golf  
  • More than 265,000 treated for injuries related to swimming
  • More than 183,000 treated for injuries related to volleyball
Expert advice:
“Sports such as swimming, golfing and volleyball require repetitive, overhead motion,” said orthopaedic surgeon and AAOS spokesperson Vani Sabesan, MD. “The rotator cuff muscles are often the target of injuries and can get irritated or fatigued with overuse. It’s important to practice safe techniques with each sport to safeguard against injuries and to use periods of rest to recover.”  

The AAOS and AOSSM offer the following safety tips on how to prevent shoulder injuries in golf, swimming and volleyball.
  • Before your round of golf, do some simple stretching exercises; focusing on your shoulders, back, and legs.
  • Get a bucket of balls before you get on the course and hit on a driving range. It not only will help your game, but will prevent injuries in the long run.
  • The best way to prevent swimming shoulder injuries is with a general exercise program to strengthen the muscles around the shoulder and upper back. Speak with a professional to help develop appropriate exercises.
  • Warm up with jumping jacks, stationary cycling or running or walking in place for 5 to 10 minutes. Then slowly and gently stretch your shoulders and arms, holding each stretch for 30 seconds.
  • Shoulder injuries in volleyball are common due to the overuse motion of serving, spiking, setting and blocking and include rotator cuff tears, dislocations and separations.
  • Strengthening shoulder muscles and tendons through a regular exercise routine helps stabilize shoulder joints and prevents injuries.
  • If a player has pain, swelling, decreased range of motion or strength they should rest and seek further medical evaluation, by a trained sports medicine specialist.
For additional tips on preventing sports injuries, visit
About the AAOS
With more than 39,000 members, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons is the world’s largest medical association of musculoskeletal specialists. The AAOS provides educational programs for orthopaedic surgeons and allied health professionals, champions and advances the highest quality musculoskeletal care for patients, and is the authoritative source of information on bone and joint conditions, treatments and related issues.
About the AOSSM
The American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine (AOSSM) is a global leader in orthopaedic sports medicine education, research, communication and fellowship, and includes national and international sports medicine leaders. The Society works closely with many other sports medicine specialists, including athletic trainers, physical therapists, family physicians, and others to improve the identification, prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation of sports injuries. AOSSM is also a founding partner of the STOP Sports Injuries campaign to prevent overuse and traumatic injuries in kids.

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Visit AAOS at: for bone and joint health news, stats, facts, images and interview requests. for inspirational patient stories, and orthopaedic surgeon tips on maintaining bone and joint health, avoiding injuries, treating musculoskeletal conditions and navigating recovery. for patient information on hundreds of orthopaedic diseases and conditions.
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