This guide is intended to help [tag]coaches[/tag] treat, prevent, and speed recovery in their athletes. This information is essential to all coaches whether you are [tag]coaching high school baseball[/tag], college, or little league. It is not a replacement for professional medical care by a physician.
Prevention: Because this is such a swift injury, there are few ways to prevent it. One important thing to do is to maintain good technique in whatever activity occurs. For example, there are correct and incorrect ways to fall in different sports. It is essential that the athlete learn the correct way to protect themselves from injury in the case of a fall, especially in sports like [tag]baseball[/tag], horseback riding, bicycling, and figure skating.
[tag]Strengthening exercises[/tag] always help prevent injuries, though, and there are several weight training moves that can be done to increase strength. Using free weights, athletes can raise their arms out straight to the side, stopping at shoulder level. This exercise can be done to the side and to the front, but always stopping at the shoulder level. Another good exercise is a pectoral move, such as a lateral pull or a butterfly. These moves can be performed in a fitness center with appropriate equipment and supervision.
Finally, wearing properly fitting protective equipment can protect the shoulders from [tag]injury[/tag]. Coaches should ensure that all athletes know how to wear and protect equipment so that it performs as well as possible.
Treatment and Recovery: Immediately after injuring the [tag]shoulder[/tag], the athlete should ice it to reduce swelling and make the shoulder easier to reattach. The shoulder should be iced for 15 minutes, 4 times a day for several days. However, this injury is fairly serious and requires medical care. An athlete should seek a doctor’s care, because only an X-ray can show the full extent of the injury. The athlete will need to wear a sling a few weeks until the ligaments heal, and the shoulder should not be lifted straight or above the head. If the injury is serious, surgery may be required to pin the bones back in place. Less serious separations heal within 2 to 3 months.