The “Dead Arm” syndrome is seen most commonly in young athletes (21-30 years) or individuals whose arms have been powerful hyperextended in elevation and external rotation of the shoulder. It is characterized by a sudden sharp or ’paralyzing’ pain when the shoulder is moved forcibly into a position of maximum external rotation in elevation or is subjected to a direct blow. Dead arm usually occurs during the acceleration phase viz: sports requiring precision throwing like baseball, tennis ball, cricket etc. This is when the arm is moving forward and the athlete suddenly feels pain. The arm goes “dead” and is no longer able to throw the ball with his usual velocity.
These include psychological factors, calcification in the ball and socket joint and bone spurs in the acromion. Impingement of the shoulder ligaments, rotator cuff problems, bicep tendonitis, micro-instability, internal impingement and SLAP lesion. The injuries thus result from the player compensating for existing problems in order to reduce discomfort that develop in the shoulders as well as repetitive small tears caused by years of hitting during a game like tennis etc. The end results are injuries that can range from minor strains or tendonitis to complete tears.
Players with these injuries may complain of decreased velocity when serving, decreased control, inability to warm up or pain when hitting.
TEST TO CONFIRM A DEAD ARM:
Lie down and have your arm placed at 90 degrees relative to your trunk and with the elbow held at the same angle. Keeping the shoulder stable without allowing the shoulder blade to slide up, allow the forearm to drop forward as possible. Ideally, you should get about 90’ forward movement.
Compare it with the good arm and use that as a guide.
SIMPLE STRETCHES FOR DEAD-ARM SYNDROME:
A study found that those who had the loss of range and did stretching to the capsule had a 38% decrease in the incidence of shoulder problems. This is when compared to the non-stretched group. Researchers have defined an acceptable loss of forward rotation range as 20 degrees. This is equivalent to a less than 10% of the total rotation seen in the non throwing shoulder.
Lie on your side and place your shoulder and elbow at 90 degree as shown in the picture. Slowly lower your forearm towards the bed till you feel a comfortable stretch at the back of the shoulder joint. Hold the stretch for 15 seconds and repeat 10 times
In a standing or sitting position, bring your shoulder diagonally across the body with the elbow turned in. Feel the comfortable stretch at the back of the shoulder joint. Hold the stretch with your opposite hand for 15 seconds and repeat for 10 times
In standing or sitting, bring the elbow across the body horizontally. Hold the stretch with your opposite hand placed at the elbow. Feel the comfortable stretch at the back of the shoulder joint. Hold the stretch for 15 seconds and repeat 10 times
SIMPLE YOGA POSES FOR DEAD ARM SHOULDER PAIN:
 GOMUKHASANA- COW FACE POSE
 Cures sciatica
 Cures stiff shoulders
 Elongates spine
 Beneficial for those with bad posture
 Strengthens back muscles
 Strengthens muscles of ankles, hips, thighs, shoulders, triceps, inner armpits and chest
 ONE- LEGGED PIGEON POSE- EKA PADA RAJA KAPOTASANA
Stretches the entire lower part of the body
 Stimulates the abdominal organs and helps relieve the body of Sciatica.
Helps open up the hips and adds more flexibility to the hip region. It is also known to relieve the body of stress and anxiety
 TRIKONASANA- TRIANGLE POSE
 Strengthens the legs, knees, ankles, arms and chest
 Stretches and opens the hips, groins, hamstrings, calves, shoulders, chest and spine
 Reduces anxiety, stress, back pain and sciatica
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