Is there anything you can do to protect your shoulders as you age? Elizabeth Tracey reports


Shoulder pain is one of the big three orthopedic problems when it comes to people seeking medical attention, and it gets more common with age. Johns Hopkins head of shoulder surgery Edward McFarland says there are a few things to avoid if you’re a physically active person who is getting older.

McFarland: There's couple things you can do to be nice to your shoulders. There's three things that are really hard on your shoulders that can cause you pain. If you have rotator cuff problems these will make them worse. One is lifting over shoulder level, over shoulder height particularly with weights, muscle lifting far away from your body puts huge amounts of stress on your shoulder. And then the other things are really stressful are things like planks or push-ups or pull-ups. Planks are not quite so bad because they're not full body weight. Push-ups are particularly hard on your shoulders.    :27

McFarland says transitioning to exercises that improve the muscles around the joint but don’t stress the joint itself are good, as are those that improve flexibility and preserve range of motion, an especially important aspect of shoulder function. He says stiffness is a common feature of aging shoulders and exercise is the best antidote to that. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.