Professional Arm & Shoulder Injury Treatment

Arm and shoulder injuries are unfortunately quite common in the athletic population. Different groups of athletes may be at higher risk to different types of injuries, but all athletes are susceptible to upper body injury. Proper arm and shoulder injury treatment from a trusted physical therapist is crucial to guarantee the best outcomes in recovery from these injuries.

“Overhead” athletes such as baseball players, volleyball players, racquet sport athletes, and swimmers often experience overuse shoulder injuries such as rotator cuff related shoulder pain (or shoulder impingement syndrome) and SLAP/labral tears. 

Athletes that participate in sports such as football, lacrosse, hockey, and gymnastics often experience more acute traumatic injuries to the shoulder such as shoulder dislocations, AC joint sprains (or separated shoulder), and SLAP/labral tears. 

Athletes that participate in racquet sports, golf, and baseball experience both overuse and acute traumatic injuries to the arm/elbow such as flexor/pronator pain and distal biceps pain/tendinopathy, golfers elbow, tennis elbow, or UCL sprains/tears. 

Common Sports Arm Injuries

UCL Sprain/Tear

UCL injuries are defined by overstretching or tearing of the Ulnar Collateral Ligament (UCL), a ligament on the inside of the elbow that provides stability to the elbow joint. This injury usually occurs from high-speed throwing with less-than-ideal throwing mechanics. UCL reconstruction (also known as Tommy John surgery) is recommended for a complete UCL tear for throwers, followed by 7-12 months of rehabilitation.

Flexor/Pronator Pain & Distal Biceps Tendinopathy

Elbow pain on the front of the arm is extremely common in throwing athletes. This injury is usually experienced by pitchers that are throwing too much, too often, or that have less than ideal throwing mechanics.

Golfer’s Elbow (Medial Epicondylitis)

This injury is described as irritation of the forearm flexor muscles and tendons. While common in golfers, it is also common in other populations. People with golfer’s elbow experience pain on the inside of the elbow with activities such as swinging a golf club (trailing arm), repetitive gripping, or repetitive throwing.

Tennis Elbow (Lateral Epicondylitis)

People with tennis elbow experience irritation of the forearm extensor muscles and tendons. While common in racquet sport athletes, it is also experienced in many other populations. People with tennis elbow experience pain on the outside of the elbow with a backhand-type motion or repetitive, forceful gripping. 

Common Sports Shoulder Injuries

AC Joint Sprain or Shoulder Separation 

This injury is described as a tearing or stretching of one or more of the ligaments that provides stability to the acromioclavicular joint (where the shoulder blade meets the collar bone). Management of this injury may consist of physical therapy, wearing a sling for a few days to a couple of weeks, and/or surgery depending on the type and severity of the sprain. 

Shoulder Dislocation 

Shoulder dislocations usually occur from trauma such as falling on an outstretched hand or contact to the arm when it is in a vulnerable position. Approximately 97% of shoulder dislocations are in the forward direction. 

After the dislocation is reduced, physical therapy is recommended for treatment to regain function. If the patient continues to experience recurrent instability of the joint, surgery may be recommended.

Rotator Cuff Related Shoulder Pain or Shoulder Impingement Syndrome 

This injury is described as shoulder pain felt when reaching the arm overhead, behind the head, or behind the back. Physical therapy is recommended for the management of rotator cuff related shoulder pain.

SLAP tear (Labral Tear) 

A Superior Labrum from Anterior to Posterior (SLAP) tear may occur from overuse such as repetitive throwing, or from acute trauma such as falling on an outstretched hand. 

The labrum is a ring of cartilage that provides stability to the shoulder joint. Physical therapy – and possibly surgery depending on the severity of the injury – will be recommended for the management of your SLAP tear. 

What Patients Are Saying

Arm & Shoulder Injury Treatment

If you are experiencing shoulder or arm pain, weakness, or loss of function, make an appointment with one of our doctors at Herlong Sports Physical Therapy! 

Maryland is a direct access state, which means that you do not need a referral to see a physical therapist

Appointments at HSPT are one-on-one, 45-minute sessions with a licensed Doctor of Physical Therapy who will develop an individualized program specific to you based on the best research evidence and your unique values, preferences, and circumstances. 

Session frequency can range anywhere from one session every other week to three or more sessions per week, depending on the injury. 

Visit one of our four locations in Marriottsville, Eldersburg, Clarksville, or Williamsport, MD for arm and shoulder injury treatment. 

Maryland

Williamsport

10312 Governor Lane Boulevard #5007
Williamsport, MD 21795

Located inside of TrueAP

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Maryland

Eldersburg

1438 Liberty Rd, STE 10A
Eldersburg, MD 21784

Located inside of MadLab Performance

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Maryland

Marriottsville

2470 Longstone Ln, STE A
Marriottsville, MD 21104

Located inside of Campanaro Strength & Conditioning

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Maryland

Clarksville

12447 Clarksville Pike
Clarksville, MD 21029

Located inside of Campanaro Strength & Conditioning

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