The following tips may prevent shoulder
problems or injuries.
General prevention tips
Stay in good overall physical shape. Strengthen
your wrist, arm, shoulder, neck, and back muscles to help protect and decrease
stress on your shoulder. Do stretching and range-of-motion (ROM) exercises for
your arms and shoulders.
Maintain good posture. Stand straight and
relaxed, without slumping.
Warm up well and stretch before any
activity. Stretch after exercise to keep hot muscles from shortening and
Wear protective gear during sports or recreational
activities, such as roller-skating or soccer.
Wear your seat belt
when in a motor vehicle.
Do not use alcohol or other drugs before
participating in sports or when operating a motor vehicle or other
Don't carry objects that are too
heavy. Make sure children and teenagers use school bags and backpacks correctly.
Avoid catching falling objects.
Use a step
stool. Do not stand on chairs or other unsteady objects.
correct body movements or positions during activities, such as lifting, so that
you do not strain your shoulder. Do not lift objects that are too heavy for
Avoid overusing your arm doing repeated movements that can
bursa or tendons. In daily routines or hobbies, think
about the activities in which you make repeated arm movements. Try alternating
hands during activities such as gardening, cooking, or playing musical
rest, ice, compression, and elevation (RICE) for home
Avoid keeping your arms out to the side or raised
overhead for long periods of time, such as when painting a ceiling. If you must
do these things, take frequent breaks, and use RICE for home treatment.
Consider consulting a sports-training specialist if you are a
competitive or serious recreational athlete. The specialist can recommend
training and conditioning programs to prevent shoulder problems or
Make sure your child's backpack is the right size with
good support. Carrying heavy backpacks may increase the risk of shoulder
problems or injury.
If you feel that activities at your workplace
are causing pain or soreness from overuse, call your human resources department
for information on alternative ways of doing your job or to discuss equipment
modifications or other job assignments.
Eat healthy foods such as milk, cheese, yogurt,
and dark green, leafy vegetables like broccoli. For more information, see the
Exercise and stay active.
Talk to your doctor about an exercise program that is right for you. Begin
slowly, especially if you have been inactive. For more information, see the
Don't drink more than 2 alcoholic
drinks a day if you are a man, or 1 alcoholic drink a day if you are a woman.
Drinking alcohol increases your chances of having weak bones (osteoporosis). It also increases your chances of
Do not smoke or use other tobacco products. Smoking
increases your chances of having osteoporosis. It also causes problems with the
blood supply in your arms and slows healing. For more information, see the
Shoulder injuries such as bruises, burns,
fractures, cuts, or punctures may be caused by
abuse. Suspect possible abuse when an injury cannot be
explained or does not match the explanation, repeated injuries occur, or the
explanations for the cause of the injury change. You may be able to prevent
further abuse by reporting it and seeking help.