Shouldering the burden

When you play sports like swimming, tennis, baseball, or even golf, you're swinging your arms overhead a lot. That can lead to shoulder injuries. The key to preventing serious injuries is to spot problems early. Don't "play through" shoulder pain – you may end up making things worse.

If you're feeling pain in your shoulder, see a doctor if you answer "yes" to any of these questions:

  • Is the shoulder stiff? Is it difficult to rotate your arm in all the normal directions?
  • Does your shoulder look deformed?
  • Do you notice any loss of feeling or skin changes around your shoulder?

You can prevent muscle pain and stiffness by warming up properly before your activity. If your exercise is particularly intense, don't stop immediately – slow down gradually before you stop and stretch afterwards. This will not only help with aches but prevent you from getting dizzy from an abrupt stop in activity.

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