Rugby

Shoulder Impingement Syndrome

Also known as Swimmer’s or even Thrower’s Shoulder, the condition known as Impingement Syndrome occurs when tendons at the rotator cuff (ie the supraspinatus, subscapularis minor and infraspinatus muscles) becoming ‘impinged’ as they pass through the subacromial space near the shoulder blade. Repetitive pinching results in inflamed and irritated tendons.

How to tell if you have shoulder impingement syndrome

You experience:

  • Pain when raising your arm above the head
  • Pain in the shoulder that worsens over time
  • Pain when turning the arm sidewards or outwards

Rib lesion/subluxation

Ribs can become damaged during the rough and tumble of contact sports. Unfortunately when this happens soft tissue and ligament damage can be the result.

How to tell if you have rib lesion/subluxation

You experience:

  • Pain when breathing in
  • Tenderness at the end of a rib (near the spine)
  • Soreness when the rib cage is touched

Rotator Cuff Muscle Strain

Supraspinatus, teres minor, subscapularis and infraspinatus are the muscles that make up the rotator cuff and which in turn help to stabilise the glenohumeral (shoulder joint). Rotator cuff injuries are either due to either damage or inflammation to the muscle or tendon.

How to tell if you have a rotator cuff muscle strain

You experience:

  • Pain in the area or a particular pain point
  • Pain which is easily located

And, in chronic cases:

  • Pain accompanied by weakness
  • Raising the arm is difficult
  • The development of other impingement syndromes

AC Joint Injury/Separation

The highest area of the shoulder, the AC joint is where the shoulder blade and collar bone meet (acromium and clavicle). Any separation of the two is the result of damage to the ligaments. This type of injury varies by degree and should always be checked by a professional.

How to tell if you have an AC joint injury/separation

You experience:

  • A visible lump in the shoulder area
  • Pain, which starts off vague then becomes localized
  • Pain lifting the arm above shoulder level

Hamstring Strain

A group of three muscles situated from behind the knee to the pelvis, the hamstring muscles allow the knee to bend. Over-stretching can damage them as can vigorous sport or intense gym work. Not stretching prior or after exercise can cause them to become shortened.

How to tell if you have hamstring strain

You experience:

  • A different walk
  • Stretching causes pain and the area feels tender
  • That area (where it hurts) feels weak and as if it’s about to collapse