Both boxing and wrestling are high-impact contact sports that involve the rapid movement of arms and shoulders more than any other sport. Multiple rounds, involving hard punches and dynamic defence techniques quickly cause the shoulder muscles to tire and get fatigued, making them vulnerable to injuries. And for that reason, shoulder injuries are the second most common injury in contact sports next to facial bruises. 

Types Of Shoulder Injuries

The shoulder is one of the most complex joints in the human body. It is a ball and socket joint that attaches the humerus (upper arm bone) to the scapula (shoulder blade). It is also joint with the largest range of motion, making it susceptible to injuries in a wide variety of ways.  

Shoulder Sprain

Due to the large range of motion of the shoulder joint, overstretching of the shoulder muscles is quite common. A shoulder sprain occurs when the ligament or muscle in the shoulder is overextended. In boxing and wrestling, the chances of getting muscles to pull are even more probable as the muscles start to get fatigued. Shoulders sprains are a less severe type of shoulder injury and can be usually treated at home. 

Shoulder Strain

Shoulder strains are injuries in tendons that occur when the muscles sustain pressure in a particular position for long periods of time. Sports such as boxing and wrestling where the repeated overhead movement of the shoulder is required, overstretching and tearing of the shoulder is quite common. RICE therapy can be helpful in treating muscle strains however it can take several weeks to heal. 

Shoulder Tear

A shoulder tear can occur in the muscles and tendons either through sudden and acute stress or through degenerative causes and repeated tension in the same region. Tears can be extremely painful and can restrict the range of motion of the joint. Treatments for shoulder tear include noninflammatory medications to reduce swelling, complete immobilization, and physical exercises to strengthen the shoulder joint. 

Rotator Cuff Tear

The rotator cuff is a collection of 4 muscles – Subscapularis, Infraspinatus, Supraspinatus, Teres minor. A rotator cuff injury occurs by the repeated motion of a muscle group in the same direction in the shoulder joint. It is a tear in the tissue of the shoulder muscle that connects the tendon to the joint. When one or more muscles in the shoulder joint get torn, the patient can experience symptoms such as swelling, redness, and a burning sensation. 

A partial tear can be treated with various non-surgical therapies however, to fully heal a large tear, surgical intervention might be required.  

Labral Tear

The labrum is soft fibrous cartilage in the shoulder joint that attaches to the rim of the socket. A labral tear occurs when this cartilage gets torn from overextension or sustained stress on the joint. A labral tear can occur in three different ways – a complete tear, a tear along the edge of the labrum, and along the bicep tendon. Immobilization of the joint, over-the-counter medications and physical therapy are often recommended to recover a torn labral cartilage.