The shoulder is made of a complex matrix of bone and soft tissue that allows it an extreme range of motion. But there is a price the shoulder pays for that range of motion. Greater risk for chronic injury.
The shoulder is held together by soft tissue stabilizers lead by the ligaments that connect bone to bone. Over the course of time, especially in sports that involve heavy shoulder to shoulder contact such as hockey, lacrosse, football, wrestling and basketball, the ligaments stretch out and become "lax." When the ligaments become lax, the risk for dislocation and separation becomes greater.
In a February 2011 study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, researchers took a look at rugby players with measurable shoulder laxity to gauge the risk of shoulder dislocation. What they found was that 50% of those athletes tested were at significant risk.
How does dislocation event?
It is estimated that 95% of shoulder dislocations occur when the athlete suffices a blow to the shoulder that forces the shoulder joint "back" or down or when they fall to the ground with their arms stretched over their heads.
Strengthening the ligaments as preventative measure:
The key to avoiding shoulder surgery or devastating shoulder separation requiring surgery is to strengthen the shoulder capsule. This can be accomplished by working the strong shoulder muscle group and / or by treating the weakened shoulder ligaments with a simple injection technique called Prolotherapy.
To understand the importance of the need of strong ligaments to hold the shoulder together, the athlete needs to understand that the severity of shoulder separation injury is measured by the degree of injury to the ligaments.
The acromioclavicular (AC) and the coracoclavicular (CC) ligaments hold the shoulder together at the point where the collarbone (clavicle) and the end (acromion) of the shoulder blade (scapula) meet.
- In type I level separation the AC is partially torn, the CC is not.
- In type II separation the AC is completely torn, the CC is partially or not torn
- In type III separation both ligaments are completely torn.
Obviously the more significant the drinking, the longer the athlete is out of their sport.
Untreated shoulder instability can lead to an alteration of an athlete's game to "protect" the sore shoulders or worse chronic shoulder separation that can keep them away from their sport for significant amounts of time.
Prolotherapy and the shoulder ligaments:
Prolotherapy is an injection therapy consisting primarily of dextrose which accelerates the body's own inflammatory response to repair ligaments.
By isolating damaged ligaments, and injecting these spots, the liagment can be healed and strengthened through controlled inflammation. This is done through the stimulation of a new collagen matrix. New collagen makes ligaments stronger, thicker, and restores them to their normal strong, taut state. To any athlete stronger is always the best option.
Prolotherapy can work fast, a treatment once a week over a 4 – 6 week period is usually all that is needed to see results. Side-effects are also limited and in many cases the athlete can continue their activities during treatments.