Do you have shoulder pain that tends to hurt more with overhead activities such as reaching up to a high shelf, throwing a ball or even swimming?

It’s possible that you have one of the following conditions:

  • Rotator cuff tendinopathy or tears
  • Internal impingement (different to subacromial/external impingement which we will discuss at a later time)
  • Shoulder instability
  • Labral tear


Rotator cuff tears 

  • Repetitive throwing can overwork the rotator cuff muscle which can lead to micro tears in the tendon.
  • The weakened tendon may then turn into a large tear.

What does it feel like?

  • Pain in the shoulder with or without movement – often around the side or front of the should
  • Some athletes may experience loss of strength and power
  • Overhead shoulder movement may be especially painful​​


​How can your physio help you?

  • Advice on pain management and activities to prevent aggravation
  • Specific strengthening exercises 
  • Assess the surrounding structures of the shoulder to prevent of any future injury
  • Discuss possible complications or surgical management for the case of full thickness tears

How can throwing a ball cause shoulder injuries?

Late-Cocking Phase

  • You bring your arm and hand up and behind your body.
  • This extreme position allows you to put speed on the ball BUT this position also forces the head of the humerus forward, placing significant stress on the ligaments at the front of the shoulder.
  • These ligaments begin to loosen over time allowing for greater external rotation and throwing speed, but less shoulder stability.

Follow-Through Phase

  • During the acceleration phase, your arm rapidly rotates inwards. After the ball is released, the arm then needs to slow.
  • As follow-through begins, the tendons of your rotator cuff need to withstand large forces to control the humeral head and slow down your arm.  


If you are experiences shoulder pain please give us a call on 9878 5021, we’d love to help.