Shoulder Pain: Boxing Injuries

Georgia Hand, Shoulder, and Elbow

Shoulder pain is a common concern for boxers. That’s not surprising since boxers are constantly using their arms and shoulders. This article aims to help professional and recreational boxers understand the common shoulder injuries associated with boxing. We’ll also cover how these injuries can be identified, treated, and prevented.

At Georgia Hand, Shoulder & Elbow, our orthopedic surgeons treat shoulder injuries in Marietta and Atlanta, Georgia. Contact us to see how we can help you.

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The Most Common Shoulder Injuries in Boxing

Boxing shoulder injuries tend to occur because of muscular fatigue. The surrounding structures then compensate for the tired muscles leading to injury. The following are some of the most common boxing injuries that can occur in the shoulder:

Rotator Cuff Tears or Injuries

One of the primary causes of shoulder pain in boxing is an injured rotator cuff. The rotator cuff consists of a group of muscles and tendons surrounding the shoulder joint, providing stability and helping lift and rotate your arm in external and internal rotation. In boxing, rotator cuff injuries occur through overuse, leading to inflammation and tears.

Subacromial Bursitis

Subacromial bursitis is another prevalent issue among boxers. This condition involves inflammation of the bursa—a small fluid-filled sac that allows your rotator cuff tendons to glide freely when you move your arm shoulder joint. Repetitive shoulder movements can irritate the bursa, causing pain and reduced mobility.

Torn Labrum

The labrum is a piece of cartilage that lines and reinforces the shoulder socket by holding the head of the upper arm bone in the socket. In boxing, a sudden traumatic incident or repetitive stress on the shoulder can result in a torn labrum. This labrum injury can lead to instability in the shoulder joint and may require surgical intervention for repair.

How to Identify the Source of Pain

The shoulder is a complex joint involving many structures. Therefore, the best way to identify the source of shoulder pain is by seeking help from an expert orthopedic surgeon. He will perform a physical examination and use imaging tests to identify the source of your shoulder pain.

How Can Shoulder Injuries in Boxing Be Prevented?

Consider the following measures to prevent shoulder injuries in boxing:

Shoulder Strength Training

Strengthening the shoulder muscles is essential for preventing injuries. Incorporate exercises that focus on the rotator cuff muscles, deltoids, and shoulder stabilizers into your training regimen. Gradually increase the intensity to ensure your shoulder joints can handle the demands of boxing.

Adequate Rest and Recovery

Overtraining is a common pitfall in boxing, leading to increased susceptibility to injuries. Allow your shoulders ample time to recover between training sessions. Rest is crucial for muscle repair and the prevention of overuse injuries.

Technique and Form

Ensure that your boxing techniques are sound to minimize the risk of injuries. Proper form not only enhances your performance but also reduces the strain on your shoulders. Working with a qualified coach can help refine your techniques and reduce the likelihood of injuries from missed punches.

Treatment For Shoulder Pain

Treating shoulder pain may involve conservative or surgical treatment. The treatment will depend on the extent of the injury and the specific condition.

  • Rest: Sometimes all that is needed is to allow the injured shoulder to rest. You may also benefit from modifying the movements you make during training.
  • Physical Therapy: Physical therapy exercises can be given to you to help you improve shoulder stability, strength, and flexibility.
  • Medications: You may be prescribed medications to help reduce inflammation and pain. Over-the-counter NSAIDs—such as ibuprofen or Advil—can also be helpful. In some cases, your doctor may give you steroid injections to help reduce swelling.
  • Shoulder Surgery: Some shoulder problems will require surgical intervention. Large rotator cuff tears and some labrum tears may require shoulder surgery. Your doctor will thoroughly evaluate the extent of your injury before deciding to operate. These injuries can usually be performed through arthroscopy, a minimally invasive surgery.

Schedule an Appointment Today

If you would like to see an orthopedic surgeon to identify and treat your shoulder pain, don’t hesitate to call Georgia Hand, Shoulder & Elbow. Our orthopedic surgeons are fully trained to help you recover from a shoulder injury, allowing you to return to the sport you love. You can find us in Marietta and Atlanta, GA. Contact us today!

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