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Lt Col Jerman
Many shoulder injuries are completely preventable. Dr. Patel, can you tell us about some ways to keep the shoulder healthy?

Dr. Patel
Certainly, Dr. Jerman. Strengthening your upper body and improving flexibility can reduce the risk of shoulder injuries. The stronger and more flexible your joints, the more easily they can withstand impact or hold up under repetitive motion. Ask your provider or physical therapist about a specific strength and flexibility program that you can do on your own.

Good cardiovascular conditioning helps prevent injuries that occur as a result of fatigue. Using proper body mechanics is also essential, which is why physical therapists teach proprioception exercises, exercises that are designed to improve your awareness of the position, location, orientation, and movement of your shoulder.

You don't need to become an expert in physical therapy to avoid future shoulder injuries, but you may need to learn some new habits or modify your physical activity. This applies to both your work habits and recreational activities.

The key to prevention is common sense. Listen to your body, and don’t push yourself beyond the limit. If an activity causes discomfort in your shoulder, don’t do it. With proper strengthening and conditioning, you can avoid most shoulder injuries.