Tag Archives: rotator cuff tear

SHOULDER INJURIES IN GOLF

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Shoulder injuries are common in golfers. Stresses on the shoulder are different from other sports because each shoulder is in opposition when swinging the club. The forward shoulder stretches across the body with the trailing shoulder raised and rotated. This leads to different complications in each shoulder.

In addition, the rotator cuff muscles are placed under stress as they are a major force in providing power and control of the swing. The leading, non-dominant shoulder is most commonly injured. It is placed into an extreme position during the backswing causing impingement, or, pinching of the rotator cuff. This condition causes inflammation and rotator cuff tears. The placement may also put stress on the shoulder joint and cause tears of the labrum (a stabilizing structure in the shoulder).

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Pain may be felt in the shoulder or upper arm at various phases of the golf swing, or following play, often when the arms are overhead or at night. Injuries to the shoulder may be sustained from a poor golf swing, a mis-hit, or from overuse. Golfers can develop tendinitis and tears in the rotator cuff from a combination of poor mechanics and the repetitive motion of the golf swing.

Prevention

While many golf injuries occur due to a combination of overuse and poor technique, a lack of conditioning and flexibility also contribute to injuries and pain. Tips:

  • Rest between playing to prevent overuse injury.
  • When in discomfort, decrease the amount of time you play.
  • Shorten your back swing and turn more through the hips & waist.
  • Refine your swing to decrease force on the shoulder joint; pro lessons will help.
  • Exercise when not on the course to improve flexibility.
  • Warm up with brief cardio and stretching to decrease injury.

Treatment

  • Shoulder pain should be treated initially with rest or decreased playing time.
  • It’s best to completely avoid playing until pain is resolved.
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs may be helpful over a brief timeframe.
  • Icing over 24-48 hours may support relief.
  • Range of motion exercises should improve flexibility.
  • If pain persists beyond 7-10 days, consult your physician.

A sports medicine physician can examine the shoulder and obtain x-rays or an MRI to determine the cause of injury. Most injuries are treated with rest, anti-inflammatories, and/or physical therapy. Bursitis and tendinitis may be treated with a cortisone injection. For pain that continues despite a thorough treatment program, surgery is an option to consider. Recent advances in arthroscopic surgery allow repair of most injuries through minimally invasive techniques, enabling quick return to your game and minimizing downtime.

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Steven Page, MD is an Orthopedic Surgeon with a specialty in Sports Medicine at Sarasota Orthopedic Associates. He is Fellowship Trained and Board Certified. Dr Page serves as a Team Physician for the Mustang football team at Lakewood Ranch High School. The commitment of Sarasota Orthopedic Associates is to get our patients back on their feet, back to work, back in the game, and back to life. For an appointment go to our website at www.SOA.md or call 941-951-2663.

Time Out with Johnny Gibbs, MD

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Our weekly blogs have given us fascinating insight to the more personal side of our SOA physicians. This week we sat down with Johnny Gibbs, MD, a Fellowship Trained, Board Certified Sports Medicine Physician, and learned a bit more about what makes him tick.

What inspired you to become a physician?

I originally started my career as a physical therapist, and learning more about disease processes, I developed a strong interest in medicine.  During my first year as a physical therapist, a young patient of mine, Claire, passed away from what seemed to be medical complications of her disease.  She was a young woman, in her thirties, a single mother, and wonderful person.  I will never forget how helpless I felt over her passing and as a result, was compelled to pursue medicine to help improve patient outcomes.

Why orthopedics?

My original interest in sports medicine and rehabilitation was sparked when I was a patient myself during high school.  That, along with a background in physical therapy, made it an obvious decision for me.

What do you love most about your job?

I love that I’m able to give people their active life back and alleviate their pain.   And, of course, I love the detail and intricacy of operating!

Gibbs with girl in cast   Gibbs surgery

What is your biggest challenge?

Trying to meet patient expectations while dealing with the constantly evolving challenges of the healthcare environment is an enormous task. At times our hands may appear to be temporarily tied as a result of changes in healthcare and insurance. I want patients to know I am their advocate.

If I weren’t an orthopedic physician I’d be a __________________.

That’s easy … If I weren’t an orthopedic physician I’d be a football coach.

Your proudest moment?

Even easier answer … Becoming a father to my children.

Where is the most interesting place you’ve travelled? Why?

Bamberg, Germany, a small picturesque town famous for its smoked beer. Why? It’s delicious!

Any hobbies? Activities?

I love sports, watching ESPN, exercising, golfing, and spending time outdoors with my children.

What’s your next adventure?

My wife and I are going on a European river cruise to celebrate her graduation from dermatolopathology training.

Your guilty pleasure food?

Chocolate chip cookies and preferably Otis Spunkmeyer.

NOTE:  Dr Gibbs is a board certified, fellowship trained orthopedic surgeon at Sarasota Orthopedic Associates with a specialty in sports medicine.  You may read his professional bio by visiting our website or clicking here. SOA has 13 physicians in four locations (Sarasota, Lakewood Ranch, Venice, and Bradenton) and offers same day appointments when needed.