R.I.C.E. stands for rest, ice, compression, and elevation. After any kind of injury, rest is one of the best things to do to bring about a healing response. Icing the injury helps to reduce inflammation and restores proper blood flow to the area. Compression holds the components of the joint in place and helps to reduce inflammation and keeps it from separating the different parts of the joint. While the shoulder is already elevated, keeping the arm raised with the use of a sling, takes the weight off of the shoulder, giving it a chance to rest without any stress or strain placed upon it. When performed immediately after an injury, R.I.C.E can relieve the inflammation and allow the doctor to get a better view of the injury.
Rotator cuff injuries are the most common when it comes to the shoulder. Next, is dislocations. In some cases, both of these injuries will occur at the same time. Hyperextending a shoulder is the cause of many shoulder injuries. Hyperextension involves stretching the ligaments, tendons, and muscles past their normal point of reach. This can cause them to go slack or have too much give in them. When this occurs the ball of the joint is allowed to move around and shift, resulting in damage to the rest of the rotator cuff. When the rotator cuff loses its ability to hold the ball of the joint in place, dislocations become more and more frequent, causing more damage.
Not every sports injury will require surgery. Surgery is only required when the damage is so extensive that the body cannot heal itself. Tears and rips within the muscle tissue may eventually repair themselves, but if the tears are located within a tendon or ligament and the injury is not given ample time to heal, it can create scar tissue that can prevent even more problems. If a person receives a shoulder injury that is minor to moderate in nature, they may be able to avoid surgery if they just follow the doctor's orders when it comes to limiting certain types of movements and not trying to lift any type of weight that could place stress on the joint.