Even benign activities can result in shoulder injury as we age, Elizabeth Tracey reports


You may not be a gym warrior but as you age, even everyday activities can result in shoulder injury. Edward McFarland, head of shoulder surgery at Johns Hopkins, says the anatomy of the joint changes a lot as we get older, and that means beyond the age of 30, resulting in the propensity for injury.

McFarland: Some of the fibers on the inside are starting to pull apart and it starts to fray and so they start to just really look very degenerative. As attachment gets thinner and thinner though over time it gets easier to tear. So that's why people with maybe not major traumas in their 50s and 60s, they pick something up and their rotator cuff tears because tendons are getting thin to begin with. My favorite is people that put their luggage in the overhead bin. They feel a little twinge and they keep hurting keep hurting and then they get an MRI and it shows that they've torn 3 tendons.    :29

Ideally, McFarland says, you engage in a range of activities to stave off inherent weakness and stiffness, as well as preserve flexibility and balance throughout the lifespan. He notes asking for help for overhead bins is also a good strategy. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.