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4 Shoulder Injuries Commonly Found in Football Players

4 Shoulder Injuries Commonly Found in Football Players

Football is a taxing game that requires throwing, catching, tackling, and diving — all of which contribute to traumatic and repetitive strain shoulder injuries. Although a player’s assigned position can influence the types of injuries they may individually be more prone to, these four shoulder ailments are common in players across the field.   

Shoulder Tendonitis 

Repetitive overhead movements are engrained in football practice and gameplay. Overuse of the shoulder, however, is a leading cause of shoulder tendonitis — which is inflammation of the shoulder tendons. This injury can deplete an athlete’s range of motion in the affected shoulder and create a lingering, dull ache. 

Shoulder Dislocation 

As a ball-and-socket joint, the shoulder lends to a wide range of motion that is pivotal to a football player’s performance. The complex structure of the shoulder also puts players at higher risk for dislocations. Incidents that can cause the ball and shoulder to separate, or dislocate, include: 

  • Collision with another player 
  • Impact on diving to the ground 
  • Abnormal shoulder movement with an overhead throw 

SLAP Tear 

A superior labral anterior to posterior (SLAP) tear is a type of lesion that commonly occurs as a result of overthrowing, repetitive throwing, or falling. The labrum stabilizes the shoulder joint, which means an injury to the area, such as a SLAP tear, can cost players their strength and full range of shoulder motion. Furthermore, attempting to continue playing with this type of injury can lead to additional tearing or an entirely separate shoulder injury, such as rotator cuff impingement. 

Shoulder Impingement 

Over time, forceful overhead throws and catches may make football players vulnerable to shoulder impingement. With a shoulder impingement injury, swelling of the tendons creates mobility issues and causes consistent, fluid pain. This type of injury will likely respond to conservative treatment but may require additional intervention in more severe cases. 

Sports Medicine Treatment Specialists in St. Augustine 

Return to play the right way with an individualized treatment and recovery plan from the sports medicine specialists at Orthopaedic Associates of St. Augustine. From physical therapy to complete shoulder reconstruction, our team of surgeons, physical therapists, and orthopaedists want to help you safely and completely get your strength back. To schedule an appointment for a football-related shoulder injury another sports-related ailment, fill out our online request form or call 904-825-0540.


Dr. Volk, expert in ArthroscopyAlbert Volk, MD 
Board certifications in Orthopaedic Surgery and Sports Medicine. Dr. Volk specializes in an all-arthroscopic rotator cuff repair of the shoulder.


Sina Kasraeian, MD 
Board Certified by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery and has extensive training in arthroscopy and sports medicine reconstructive procedures.