Rotator cuff exercises help to strengthen the rotator cuff. Strengthening the rotator cuff is important since it is the main shoulder stabilizer during movement of the shoulder. Exercises also keep the humerus centered hence it does not place any abnormal stress on tissues surrounding it such as the rotator cuff. Muscle mass is gradually reduced with age which in turn result in various rotator cuff injuries, this can be avoided by strengthening these muscles through proper exercises and stretches. Keeping the muscles strong also helps to prevent problems such as rotator cuff tear, shoulder impingement syndrome and tendonitis. Doctors usually recommend key shoulder exercises if weakness, stiffness and rotator cuff pain are the symptoms producing themselves with your problem. These exercises combined with rest, heat and ice application, medication solve most rotator cuff problems.
The exercises that will help heal your rotator cuff injury are in two categories, range of motion routines stretches, and strength building exercises. They help restore flexibility and stabilize the shoulder respectively. Consulting your doctor, surgeon or physical therapist is highly recommended before starting the workout routine. If the strengthening exercises are done too soon it may result in complications or further damage. Part of the rehabilitation after rotator cuff surgery is a solid recovery program. The main purpose here for the exercises is usually to recover range of motions and to help relieve pain. Exercises relieve pain, restore range of motions and strengthen shoulder weakness.
There are numerous examples of key shoulder exercises that one can download from the internet or be prescribed to by the physical therapist, but it’s not the type or style but ones commitment and correct use of technique that will produces results. Continued increase in rotator cuff pain will mean you consult your doctor to recommend other treatment or the exercises need modification. Rotator cuff exercises and shoulder impingement exercises are both important because both can be used for a rotator cuff injury.
Before starting the exercises, ensure you have done warm up for about five minutes with aerobic exercises. Warming up increases your heartbeat rate, breathing rate and blood flow to the muscles. It also raises the body temperature. This is advantageous to muscles and tendons because it increases their motion range and decreases risk of rotator cuff injury. A warm shower before your exercises will also warm up the muscles. Start small and gradual increase frequency of the exercises, especially if you had undergone rotator cuff surgery. Strengthening exercises should be done every alternate day.
If one of the symptoms you have is weakness in your shoulder, do more repetitions but use low weights or resistance. The rotator cuff muscles are small and prone to injury avoid exercising them to fatigue. Proper posture is important, keep your shoulder blades back and down during the exercise whether you are in a sitting or standing position. Exhale when lifting your arm and inhale when lowering it. Holding your breath will raise your blood pressures therefore ensure you breathe normally. While stretching, stretches should be held up to 30 seconds and not until you feel pain, because this can tear muscles. While strengthening elbows should not be locked they should be bent slightly, this increase the exercise effectiveness by making them work harder.
Each day after completing your workout program, it is advisable to apply ice packs on your shoulders for 20 minutes. Remember, the exercises have to be done on both shoulders, and if you still have rotator cuff pain even after the exercises, consult a doctor.