Dr. Todd Melegari & Rob Long Discuss Shoulder Injuries
Whether your knees ache after a weekend game of soccer, your shoulder hurts after raking leaves, or your kid’s elbow is causing pain after baseball practice, there’s no denying that an active life can come with aches and pains. But Dr. Todd Melegari, an orthopaedic surgeon and fellowship-trained sports medicine specialist at Orthopaedic Specialists of Maryland at GBMC, says you don’t have to buy into the no pain no gain mindset. He talked with Rob Long of 105.7 The Fan about how to prevent injuries to your joints, bones, and muscles and how an orthopaedic specialist can help.
He and Rob, a former college athlete and current high school coach, discussed the rise in orthopaedic injuries in young athletes. “You used to switch sports every season,” says Dr. Melegari, “But now you have kids specializing in one sport at a very young age and playing year-round, basically without a break. That leads to a lot of overuse injuries in the shoulders, elbows, and knees.” He recommends paying attention to what your body is trying to tell you.
“Whether you’re a weekend warrior or a young athlete, if you’re in pain after every game and anti-inflammatory medicines and ice or heat aren’t helping, you should consider getting evaluated by an orthopaedist.” He also recommends rotating sports, which can help strengthen different muscles and reduce the amount of repeated stress on joints.
Dr. Melegari and Rob also talked about whether ice or heat is best for achy joints and muscles (Dr. Melegari says you really can’t go wrong with either, but they each have a role to play depending on the type of injury you’re facing), why strengthening the muscles around joints like your neck, shoulders, and knees can help decrease chronic pain (find great exercises in the Patient Education section of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons website), and why once a young athlete suffers a dislocated shoulder, he or she is at risk for repeated dislocations. He recommended partnering with a physical therapist to build a safe and effective strengthening routine that can help protect your muscles and joints from injury and shared advice on how an active 60-year-old can avoid shoulder pain after an intense session of pushups and planks.