Living Well: “Don’t Ignore The Pain”

LITTLE ROCK, AR – Playing sports can be competitive in nature. And whether you’re out on the field, court or pool athletes may be prone to injuries.

Barrett Pfeiffer is still feeling discomfort in his right shoulder. Pain, shooting up his pitching arm.

“When I’m coming back way too much, it’s just pinching way to much when I come forward,” says Barrett.

The 16-year-old student athlete first noticed the problem a couple years ago. The pain was on and off until it eventually became worse.

“It’s a lot of the motion, and because shoulders aren’t really meant to throw baseballs,” says Barrett.

But Barrett’s love for the game overshadowed the ache which soon became an injury. The condition is called “glenohumeral internal rotation deficit.”

It’s a common problem Dr. Adam Smithman finds with certain athletes.

“The top and back part of the rotator cuff have gotten beat up over time,” Dr. Smithman says.

Fatigue and the fact we aren’t built to throw things over our heads contribute to the problem.

“We’re increasingly seeing more of this because people play sports year around and they don’t have a lot of time to rest their arms or their shoulders,” Dr. Smithman says.

Dr. Smithman suggests a rigorous set of stretches before and after throwing can help alleviate the problem.

Right now, Barrett is sitting the bench.

“I went to the field the other day and watched my team play and I was in the bleachers and it’s kinda disappointing,” says Barrett.

But with plenty of rest, medication and physical therapy he’s focused on returning to the pitcher’s mound in time for his senior year.

“Any pain that you feel, just get it checked out, never hesitate,” Barrett says.

No matter the sport, or pain simply listen to your body and don’t ignore it.

Doctors say Barrett’s condition can also be seen in athletes who play tennis, volleyball and those who swim.

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