I was recently contacted by a father who was concerned about his son’s shoulder pain. The boy is 15 years old and plays football. He throws the football over and over during practice, and his shoulder is beginning to have pain that radiates from his neck all the way to his mid-back and down the upper portion of his arm. The boy won’t stop practicing because he loves the sport, but his dad is concerned about long-term injuries.
When it comes to children and teenagers, too many parents think that “they’re young, they’ll get over it.” That’s not the case, especially now that children are playing as long and hard as many adults, and they aren’t going for massages, or even being shown the most basic methods of treating their muscles after hours of practice. Even a mom or dad just rubbing the child’s shoulder would help to flush out the lactic acid build-up.
There are several muscles involved in the case of this young football player: latissimus dorsi which is pulling his arm down and backward to set up for the throw; infraspinatus and posterior deltoid (pull his arm back); pectoralis minor, pectoralis major, and anterior deltoid (pulls his arm forward); and levator scapulae, trapezius, and lateral deltoid (lifts his shoulder and arm). You can look at each of these muscles by doing an internet search.
The problem is, of course, the repetitive nature of the movements since he is practicing almost every day, including Saturdays. Add to this the fact that the football has weight and requires power to make it fly through the air, and you can see where he is straining all of his muscles.
The good news is that all of these muscles are very easy to self-treat by just using a Julstro Perfect ball and having some knowledge of where to locate the knots and how to release them. The father already has my book, Treat Yourself to Pain Free Living because he’s an ultracyclist and had been experiencing low back pain that is now resolved. I told him to do all of the treatments that are taught in the chapters about the neck, shoulder and arm, and I heard back that the boy is feeling much better and stronger.
Don’t ignore your child’s overuse situations. Their bones are still growing and if their muscles are shortened by spasms and contractions, this will cause an even greater strain on their joints.
Have a great day,