With summer rolling in and gyms opening back up following the COVID-19 pandemic, a lot of individuals are looking to get back into shape. For those who are more ambitious than others, the sudden strain that comes from getting back to the gym may cause overuse injuries like bursitis, tendonitis, and strain/sprains. These three conditions often occur as a result of not listening to your body, not warming up properly, and/or using improper techniques. In order to help prevent these shoulder overuse injuries, it is important to understand what differentiates each condition. 


A strain occurs when a muscle fiber is torn, whereas a sprain is when a ligament is torn. Strains and sprains are a result of a rapid stretch or change in direction of the tissues, typically when the body is tired. These injuries can also take place when you lift a weight that is too heavy or are using improper technique when lifting. 


The tendons are structures in the body that attach the muscle to the bone. These tendons are covered by sheaths which allow them to move smoothly. Overuse of the shoulder tendons can create friction in the sheaths, causing them to become irritated. Excessive use can lead to inflammation, altered tissue alignment, and irregular movement. The irregularities in tendon movement will cause pain in the affected area. 


A bursa is a small fluid-filled pocket that acts as a cushion and lubricant between tendons, ligaments, and bone. There are several bursa around the larger joints of the body including the knee, elbow, and shoulder. Bursitis is most often caused from overuse and repetitive strain from lifting heavy objects and not treating existing shoulder injuries. It can also be a result of direct blows to the shoulder. 

With all of these conditions, overuse is the most common culprit. It is very important to stretch and warm-up prior to working out, use proper technique when exercising, eat a balanced diet, get enough rest, and listen to your body while exercising.

Dr. Nelson has years of experience and a passion for helping his patients. If you’re suffering from any kind of shoulder, knee, or hip pain, make your health a priority and schedule your appointment with Dr. Nelson. Whether a more conservative treatment or surgery is the best fit for your injury, Dr. Nelson will ensure you’re receiving treatment that will minimize pain and promote mobility and functionality. To schedule your appointment with him, give us a call at 435-774-8511.