Rotator Cuff Injuries

shoulder painWe are all aware of the fact that the human body is not perfect,  and that unfortunately, we are all susceptible to injuries. In this text, we will try to explain what is the Rotator cuff and what kind of exercises should you do to prevent injuries.

The rotator cuff is a group of muscles and ligaments that are connecting the upper arm with the shoulder blade. The rotator cuff ligaments allow the shoulder to have its stability, while the rotation of the shoulder is possible thanks to the muscles. Each of the 4 muscle that are found in the rotator cuff (Infraspinatus, Subscapularis, Teres minor, and Supraspinatus) are joined at the Scapula (shoulder blade), and have a ligament that binds the muscle with the Humerus (upper arm). Together, the ligaments and other tissues make a cuff that surrounds the humerus and stabilizes the shoulder joint. Having in mind that these muscles are small in size, and that they are actually quite burdened from the moment you wake up, it is not an uncommon thing that the rotary cuff is easily injured.

It is important to remember that rotator cuff injuries rarely happen in isolation. We have discovered that all patients suffering from pain in one of the rotator cuff muscles, also have neck and thoracic spine issues. It is of vital importance that these issues are addressed as well since the body does not function in an isolated manner.

Here are some tips and most effective exercises that will prevent the rotary cuff from getting injured, and help you strengthen both the muscles and ligaments in that area. First of all, if your shoulder is prone to dislocation and injuries, it means that your rotary cuff ligaments and muscles are not strong enough. Try to avoid motions that give you pain in that area, or generally any movements that will pull your arms toward your back.

Doorway Stretch

This is an exercise that is basically done like pushups, only in a vertical position. Warm up your muscles by standing in an open doorway and spreading your arms like for the wide pushups. Grab the sides of the doorway, with your hands positioned in the shoulder height, and lean forward through the doorway, with your back being straight and your weight shifted to your toes, until you feel a light stretch. Be careful not to overstretch

Here is a link that might help you:

http://www.livestrong.com/video/1008770-stretching-subscapularis-door-frame/

Side-Lying External Rotation

Lie down, sideways, on the arm that is not injured. Bend the elbow of your injured arm to 90° and rest the elbow on your body side. The forearm ought to rest across the abdomen.

Hold a light weight and, keeping your elbow against your side, slowly raise the weight upward. Stop rotating your arm if you start feeling tension.  Hold that position for a few seconds before returning to the start position. Repeat this movement 10 times, three times a day, and when you start feeling like 10 is becoming easy, start doing sets of 20.

This is how it should be done:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZThZf48qsio

 

Please do seek professional help if you are not sure if you are suffering from a rotator cuff tendinitis or if you have had a pain which has lasted for longer than one month.