The shoulder joint is one of the most commonly injured joints in the human body. This is largely due to the fact that it is a “ball and socket” joint. This type of joint allows for multi-axial movement, which permits our arms to move in all planes of motion.
Because the shoulder joint is meant to create so much movement, the hyaline cartilage and connective tissue that encompass it aren’t as strong as the fibrous tissue found in many of the body’s other joints that are designed to constrict movement. A joint with connective tissue that has more elasticity—such as the tissue found in the shoulder joint—is much easier to injure than joints that have stronger ligaments and cartilage.
Many rotational sports—baseball, golf, and tennis, for example—place a high level of emphasis on rotator cuff injury prevention in their training. Bowlers should also consider adding shoulder injury prevention routines to their exercise programs to prevent trauma at the shoulder. After all, we do use one of the heaviest balls in any sport!
If you’ve never seen the ESPN Sport Science segment featuring bowling, you should definitely try to watch it. In that segment, scientists placed sensors on the shoulders of PBA star Sean Rash and recorded that his bowling shoulder goes well beyond the normal range of motion in order to achieve his high and powerful backswing. With this powerful style of bowling being coached and becoming more common, we have to remember that these bowlers need to take care of their bodies to avoid serious injuries when creating all this momentum and power in their approaches. We’ve yet to really see the long-term effects of this powerful style ...
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