Pro basketball players face an unlikely combination of struggles: their exceptional height means they have longer limbs which experience greater torsional forces, and they spend half their athletic lives leaping and extending those limbs as far as they can go.
The result is often undue wear and tear on the back and shoulders.
So it is perhaps no surprise that Chicago Bulls legend Scottie Pippen recently posted this photo, alerting fans and friends that he has succumbed to the pain at long last, and begun taking active steps to restore comfort and mobility in his shoulder:
Down but not out! 6 months of recovery after a planned shoulder surgery and I'll be good as new. pic.twitter.com/K6VUNuper2
— Scottie Pippen (@ScottiePippen) October 6, 2015
As the accompanying squib says, “It’s no surprise that the wear and tear of 1,386 games is beginning to take effect.”
Professional athletes aren’t the only people who report increasing shoulder pain as they age. At my orthopedic surgery practice here in San Diego, I see many hundreds of people who struggle with shoulder pain each year. When rest and rehab no longer do the trick, it may be time for orthopedic shoulder surgery.