Shoulder Injuries

Shoulder Injuries

Basic Anatomy of the Shoulder:

The shoulder is a complex joint comprising the humerus, scapula (shoulder blade), and clavicle (collarbone). It’s a highly mobile joint supported by muscles, tendons, and ligaments.

Rotator Cuff: Comprised of four muscles and their tendons, the rotator cuff provides stability and allows for a range of shoulder movements.

Labrum: The labrum is a cartilaginous structure that surrounds the shoulder socket, providing stability and acting as a cushion.

Mechanism of Injury:

Shoulder injuries in skiing and snowboarding often result from falls, collisions, or the repetitive stress placed on the shoulders during these activities.

Impact Injuries

Direct impact on the shoulder, such as a fall or collision, can cause fractures, dislocations, or soft tissue injuries.

Overuse and Repetitive Motion

Repetitive arm movements, especially when using ski poles or engaging in frequent turns, can lead to overuse injuries like tendinitis.

Compression Injuries

High-impact landings, especially with outstretched arms, can result in compression injuries, affecting the shoulder joint and surrounding structures.

Rotational Forces

wisting or sudden rotations during a fall can strain or tear the rotator cuff or other supporting structures.

Common Shoulder Injuries:

Rotator Cuff Tears

Partial or complete tears of the rotator cuff tendons, often caused by repetitive motion or acute trauma.

Shoulder Dislocations

The humeral head may dislocate from the shoulder socket due to a fall or collision.


Tears in the labrum, commonly associated with dislocations or repetitive overhead motions.

Labral Tears

Tears in the labrum, commonly associated with dislocations or repetitive overhead motions.

Treatment Options

Discover insights on shoulder injuries in skiing and snowboarding – from common mechanisms like falls and overuse to treatment options such as rest, physical therapy, and, in severe cases, surgery. Learn how our Niseko-based physiotherapy clinic offers personalized care and preventive strategies, empowering individuals to navigate the slopes with confidence and recover effectively.

Rest and Immobilisation:

Initial rest and immobilisation to allow the injured shoulder to heal.

Physical Therapy:

Targeted exercises to improve range of motion, strength, and stability of the shoulder.

Pain Management:

Medications and modalities for pain relief and inflammation reduction.

Shoulder Bracing:

Bracing may be recommended to provide support and limit movement during the healing process.


Surgical intervention may be necessary for severe injuries, such as rotator cuff repairs or labral reconstructions.

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