Injured Shoulders Affects Workouts, Fat Burning and Movements

I hurt my left shoulder joint about 2 weeks ago (playing ball) and its been tough to do a strength workout without pain. It has affected my fat burning potential because of subpar workouts. My shoulders are involved in every movement.....Running sprints hurts too.

Exercise injuries are as much a part of exercising as, well, exercising. And, some, like shoulder and hip injuries, hurt with every movement. Rest and recovery is part of the answer to relieve my shoulder joint pain. If I ignore the pain (as some do), it could lead to a more serious degenerative shoulder injury.

So, I'm having to follow the advice I give to clients about exercise injuries! Don't play around with shoulder injuries Mark.

The shoulder girdle is very important to your body's core structure, stabilization and efficiency. And, shoulder injuries tend to cause other injuries.

When it comes to any injury, prevention is critical. A typical injury I see in clients and others is many times related to soft tissues (i.e., tendons, ligaments, muscles, etc.).

Treatment of any soft tissue injury during the first 24-72 hours is important to offset any further injury and inflammation. The general rule of thumb is to use the R.I.C.E.R. principle (REST, ICE, COMPRESSION, ELEVATION, REFERRAL FOR MEDICAL ASSISTANCE).

So, I thought about some of the shoulder injuries that people incur during workouts, playing or accidents:

1. Frozen Shoulder - This condition affects the shoulder joint capsule. Joint stiffness and loss of movement are the primary symptoms. Anti-inflammatory medicine and physical therapy are usually needed.

2. Shoulder Tendonitis - This condition does not affect the joint capsule but does affect the muscles and tendons of the shoulder joint. Pain, weakness and inflammation accompany shoulder tendonitis. The two main causes are degeneration and wear and tear.

Since the shoulder is a very tendinous area, it receives very little blood supply. Massage is often used to increase blood flow and oxygen to this area.

3. Rotator Cuff Injury - This can be a muscle strain or tear due to heavy lifting or excessive force being placed on the shoulder (such as wear and tear from throwing a ball). The larger the tear, the harder it is to lift or extend the arm.

As with tendonitis, pain, weakness and inflammation accompany rotator cuff injuries. This condition also does not affect the joint capsule but does affect the muscles and tendons of the shoulder joint. Rotator cuff injuries can sometimes take months to heal because of the lack of blood supply to this area. Massage is needed.

4. Shoulder Impingement Syndrome - It is caused by the excessive squeezing or rubbing of the rotator cuff and shoulder blade. The pain is a result of an inflamed bursa sac over the rotator cuff, and/or inflammation of the rotator cuff tendons, and/or calcium deposits in tendons due to wear and tear. Shoulder impingement syndrome can lead to a torn rotator cuff.

Taking anti-inflammatory medications for a short period of time will treat the pain, but it will not treat the problem and symptoms will come back. You may have to try different medications to see which one will work for you.

Daily stretching in warm water will also help. You should try to reach your thumb up and behind your back. Rest is critical---so no intense exercising or throwing balls. Also, don't do any activity where your elbow moves above shoulder level.

For most people, medication, stretching exercises and rest will do the trick.

If the symptoms do not go away after using anti-inflammatory medicines, your doctor might give you a cortisone-type injection. Cortisone is a very potent anti-inflammatory medication which can weaken muscles and tendons.

So, it should be used only in serious situations. Many times, professional athletes will take cortisone injections to "play through the pain" during the season (to temporarily put off needed surgery).

Your doctor might also perform an MRI or arthrogram to check for a rotator cuff tear. If the rotator cuff is torn, surgery will probably be needed to repair it.

Prevention of Shoulder Injuries

It takes an integrated training program to lessen the chances of shoulder injuries. There are no guarantees, but taking the following steps can help keep your shoulders injury-free:

1) Poor Technique: Bad throwing/exercise motion habits will certainly lead to shoulder problems. When fatigue sets in, the shoulder problems increase. It is critical to learn proper throwing/exercise motion technique.

2) Flexibility: Adequate flexibility is important for every part of the body and especially so for the shoulder. Freedom of movement for the pelvis, trunk, scapula, and humerus are important. For the rotator cuff, balancing the forces centering the head of the humerus and freedom of movement is critical.

The rotator cuff muscles are dependent on good positioning of the scapula for effective control. Bad positioning of the scapula results in decreased ability of the shoulder muscles to produce power. Static stretching for flexibility should not be done prior to training or athletic competition (a dynamic flexibility routine prepares the entire body best for exercise or competition).

3) Core Strength and Stability: All movement begins with the core, so it is essential to strenghen and stabilize it. For the shoulder, the important areas are the lumbar spine, cervical spine and the scapulothoracic joint. If these areas are not stable, extra loading and strain is passed on to the shoulder joint.

4) General Muscle Strength: Once the body's core is adequately strengthened and stabilized, the body's limbs should then be strengthened. A strong core maximizes limb strength and power.

5) Use "The Rotator." There are many gimmicks and gadgets out there that you shouldn't waste your money on---"The Rotator" (by Joint Mechanix) is not one of them!

"The Rotator" is designed to improve your shoulder's performance. I have personally used "The Rotator" and it is great for increasing shoulder flexibility, strength and range of motion.

It is critical for you to have a full range of motion in the shoulder to facilitate strength and power. It can also be used to rehabilitate range of motion and rotator cuffs. Since we all use the throwing motion, swinging motion and repetitive shoulder motions exercising, "The Rotator" would be a great investment.

The most convenient thing about "The Rotator" is that it allows you to safely and correctly self-stretch your shoulder. You don't have to "figure out" what to do because it comes with complete, easy instructions.

"The Rotator" will help you start treating your shoulders better!

Workout hard and safe!

Mark Dilworth at My Fitness Hut


  1. Wow what a great post. I am impressed at here.

    Thanks for more sharing.......

    Laith Salma

  2. Thanks Laith! What's your favorite workout to burn fat?


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About Mark


Mark Dilworth is a Lifestyle and Weight Management Specialist and since 2006 he has owned Your Fitness University, Her Fitness Hut, My Fitness Hut, Sports Fitness Hut.

Mark has helped thousands of clients and readers make lifestyle changes that lead to better long-term health, which includes acceptable body fat and ideal body weight.He does not recommend fad diets, quick weight loss gimmicks, starvation diets, weight loss pills, fat burner supplements and the like.

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