I am one of several golfers who throw forehands a lot out there and have been nagged lately with some shoulder and elbow issues. I have successfully rehabilitated my shoulder and can reach the 400 mark again. Several things that I have found that everyone should do.
1) Ice your shoulder after playing even a casual round. I have been doing this for a couple of weeks and it makes a huge difference.
2) Do specific exercises to fine tune the small muscles of the shoulder.
3) Always warm-up properly. This is far more important for forehands than backhands.
4) Practice! The smoother the release the easier on the shoulder!\
Hope this helps those others that are out there. Just the E-train if you don't believe me about what can happen to your shoulder.
When I first started using a forehand shot, I could only throw a couple and then my elbow hurt for a week or more. What I discovered, I never practiced the "mechanics" of the throw in an "open" setting, it was always trying to "keep it in the fairway" so to speak. I found that I was restricting my motions, which mostly made for bad shots.
I then got into an open field, not to worry about getting in the rough, and just worked out the mechanics. After that, my forehand progressed at a much accelerated pace. Now it is one of the best shots I have, ask some of the Florence gang. . . .I have more accuracy, control and distance due to the greater "snap" inherent in the forehand throw.
Works for me. . . but if I ever need it. . .I have my tea tree oil close at hand.
First off let me say that I am a Physical Therapist who specializes in Sports Rehabilitation. I also am an avid, though hopelessly second rate disc golfer who has on occasion suffered from various shoulder injuries.
I would recommend everything that Shane suggested, but would add one thing. If you are having difficulty with your shoulder and/or your elbow you should STRETCH before you even think about throwing a disc. There are many baseball stretching programs out there which are very useful for disc golf as well. These are usually shoulder stretches but you can also find elbow stretches. Look for programs for "Tennis" elbow or Lateral Epicondylitis of the Elbow.
As for weight lifting, avoid over working the pectoral muscles. It looks pretty but if the Pecs are too much stronger than the Rotator Cuff muscles, forehand throwers will be at a high risk for shoulder bursitis, impingement, and the dreaded rotator cuff tear. Many a highschool baseball pitcher has ruined his arm by overdoing bench presses.
I throw forearm alot, I havn't had any of these problems, yet.
I think the best thing a person can do is stretch before you throw.
Also, good mechanics are a plus.
The only time I have ever experienced discomfort after throwing a forearm is when I try to throw the heck out of a disc.
Just know your limits and I think you will be O.K.
I used to think so as well, but after sitting out for four or five years, I began having problems. I agree with the stretching, but think as you get older, the other things listed above play an important role. And yes btw you do throw the heck out of a disc, but I do not yet think you have reached your limit.