What Can I Do to Prevent Shoulder Injuries?

Most of us don’t think much about our shoulders. That is until one of them begins to hurt. We also don’t think about the fact that our every move affects this very complex shoulder joint. You can injure your shoulder playing all types of sports, but you can also cause a painful result from reaching for something overhead. Yes, it’s true. What can I do to prevent shoulder injuries?

What Causes Shoulder Pain and Injuries?Man with arthritis pain in shoulder.

It doesn’t matter if you play all manner of sports, have a desk job, or are a blue collar worker, you can damage your shoulder by repetitive movements. Painters use the same up and down motion, baseball pitchers use the same overhead motion to throw the ball, as do tennis players each time they serve the tennis ball. Any of these movements can lead to a shoulder injury.

We would be wise to always have a step stool handy when reaching for something over our head.

Additional causes of a shoulder injury include:

  • Aging causes wear and tear which can more easily damage your shoulder joint.
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Rotator cuff damage
  • Bursitis
  • Shoulder dislocation
  • Frozen shoulder
  • Sports injuries
  • Falls and accidents

Tips for Preventing Shoulder Injuries and Pain

It’s imperative to be alert to even twinges of pain or discomfort in your shoulder. It could indicate a strain or a movement that could turn into an injury. It’s best to stop whatever you are doing and rest.

Use ice to relieve any inflammation or discomfort. If that doesn’t help, contact shoulder specialist Samuel Koo, MD, MPH in Kirkland.

Maintain Proper Posture

This is essential for anyone. If you sit at a desk all day, be sure you are sitting properly. It is common for us to lean forward with our neck with our head down including our shoulders. This causes friction between the shoulders leading to reduced space between your shoulder joints causing pain.

Make sure your computer is at an appropriate height and distance so you can comfortably reach the keyboard. Getting up periodically, stretching and walking can help correct this issue. Try a standing desk to ease that stress on your neck and shoulders.

The same goes for lifting anything. Keep your back straight and bend your knees.


Stretching is a key component for maintaining a strong shoulder.  It provides flexibility, stability, and a great range of motion. Ask Dr. Koo to recommend some easy stretches to perform daily.

Stretching is key for everyone; this works for athletes as well as desk workers.

Cross Train

We usually think of cross training when it comes to athletes, but this works for everyone who is active. Whatever repetitive movements you make in your job need to take a back seat to other types of moves to reduce the stress in your shoulder joints. Walk or ride a bike.

Consider How You Sleep

For those who like to sleep on their side, you may discover some discomfort. Try sleeping on the other side for a while. Sleeping on your back with your arms by your side can help to relieve shoulder stress too. 

Don’t Wait to Seek Treatment

Most shoulder injuries can be treated without surgery, but it’s important to seek medical care early. 

Immediately contact shoulder surgeon Samuel Koo, MD, MPH at the first sign of a shoulder injury for an evaluation and treatment. Give us a call at (425) 823-4000 or request an appointment through our secure online form.