While most athletes may be at risk for a shoulder injury, those who engage in sports that demand a lot of overhead movement are more likely to experience a torn rotator cuff or other shoulder injuries. Overhead athletes participate in sports like tennis, baseball pitching, volleyball, and swimming.
Recent research by Rimtautas Gudas and colleagues (2012) compared male overhead and non-overhead athletes following arthroscopic surgery for a shoulder injury over a two year period. The athletes that were in the non-overhead sports experienced a higher increase in function of their shoulder complex compared to the overhead athletes. These research findings underscore the need to consider sports specific treatment for shoulder injuries to maximize short and long-term functioning following surgery.