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Thursday, August 11, 2011

Rotator Cuff Injury Exercise For an Effective and Fast Recovery

A rotator cuff injury exercise program is the best approach for a long lasting solution to any shoulder joint condition. This is because over the counter or prescription drugs can only alleviate the symptoms of pain and inflammation, but not cure the root cause. A rotator cuff is made up of 4 different muscles with tendons strategically attached to the shoulder joint bone, the shoulder blade (Scapula), and the Humeral Head (top of the Humerus, the arm bone).

Its function is to keep the arm stable, allowing for great range of motion while keeping it into place and preventing dislocation. This is because the ball and socket shoulder joint is very shallow to allow for such a wide range of movements. The price it has to pay for such flexibility is instability and a tendency to long recovery times, should something go wrong.

The main reasons for cuff problems are injuries on one hand, or spontaneous disorders on the other. Tears, Dislocations and Post Traumatic Surgery belong to the first category, while Impingement Syndrome, Bursitis, Tendonitis and Frozen Shoulder belong to the latter. The reasons why such disorders arise are as diverse as accidents, over use of the shoulder joint with repetitive motions, age, or even diabetes and being over weight.

They all share common symptoms tough, as they show up with pain and stiffness. The normal procedure for such disorders is the prescription of non steroidal anti inflammatory drugs, over the counter drugs such as aspirin and ibuprofen, cortisone injections, and even surgery or manipulation. Apart from surgery and manipulation which are effective but also drastic and mostly avoidable, all other solutions provide temporary relief and a dependency on medicaments.

A rotator cuff injury exercise program can greatly cut down recovery times from many moths or even years to few weeks. It is a sad reality that people affected by rotator cuff disorders usually take a long time to heal due to the complex nature of the shoulder joint itself. During this time they put up with pain and discomfort while relying on drugs to soothe pain and stiffness. Specific rotator cuff injury exercises help relieve the inflammation associated with all disorders, or the strength of the 4 muscles with tendons following traumas or surgery.

These exercises have nothing to do with heavy weight military presses performed in the gym for the Deltoid, instead they require very light resistance applied in stretches and outward and inward rotations. Whatever injury you suffer from, a Torn Rotator Cuff, post Dislocation or Surgery Rehabilitation, a Frozen Shoulder, or an Impingement Syndrome that do not leave you alone, a rotator cuff injury exercise program professionally devised by a specialist can get rid of pain and stiffness and restore the shoulder to the supple joint it was before in a matter of weeks, not months or years.

Rotator Cuff Injury Exercises and Tips For Healing Your Shoulder Fast

Are you experiencing shoulder pain? Maybe you've been diagnosed with a rotator cuff injury and possibly even a tear. Or maybe you've just been experiencing a pain in your shoulder that you were hoping would just go away but it hasn't yet. What are your options? Is there a way to naturally heal your rotator cuff? Here are some shoulder injury exercises and tips that, when performed a certain way, can help you heal your shoulder... hopefully without surgery or other intrusive methods.

Improve circulation
Because the shoulder/rotator cuff is a series of small muscles and tendons it receives very little blood supply. Strengthening and stretching exercises increase circulation which promotes healing. Other ways to improve blood flow are through applying heat and massage.

Dealing with pain
Icing will help with the pain, especially right before bedtime. 20-30 minute sessions, as many times per day as needed.

Strengthening exercises
The rotator cuff is a complex series of small muscles, tendons and bones. These muscles respond best to higher reps and lower weight. Reps should be higher... in the 12-15 rep range to start. As your shoulder gets stronger, eventually the reps can reach the 20-25 rep range.

Instead of trying to explain these exercises, I suggest visiting this web site that has many clear pictures and good descriptions of each exercise. You can find them at http://familydoctor.org/handouts/265.html

Get on a proper healing program
The good news is yes, you can heal your shoulder if you follow the proper rotator cuff injury exercises. But randomly performing a set of exercises from the internet without the detailed instruction of an expert in shoulder rehabilitation will probably make your injury worse. It's important that these exercises are performed in a specific way and a specific order depending on the extent of your injury.

Rotator Cuff Injury Exercises - Heal Your Shoulder Without Surgery

Are you tired of living with the pain in your shoulder? You had hopes that, with a little rest, it would heal. Finally, you decide to get checked out by your doctor. Prognosis: Torn rotator cuff. What's your next step? You may choose rotator cuff injury exercises, surgery, or perhaps both. Can your shoulder heal without needing an operation? This article is not intended to replace professional medical advise but the short answer is, yes, a torn rotator cuff can heal if proper physical therapy is approached in a progressive and patient manner.

The complex network of small muscles that make up the rotator cuff can be easily injured. Generally speaking tendons are durable, but if too much stress is placed on them, especially repetitive movements, swelling may result. If the stress continues without rest, then an eventual tear may occur. A sudden fall where you catch yourself with an outstretched hand is also a common cause.

These small muscles are endurance oriented, so any rotator cuff injury exercises must be approached with light weight and high reps. When first starting out, stay around 12-14 reps per set and gradually build up to around 20-30 reps as your rotator cuff gets stronger. Always pay attention to strict form when learning new exercises and of course talk with your doctor before taking on a new rotator cuff rehab program.

Besides resistance training, stretching should also be included in any complete physical therapy approach. Greater range of motion, more mobility and increased circulation are some of the benefits of stretching. In order to speed up the healing, increase the amount of blood flow to the rotator cuff with heat and massage as well as stretching.

Proper shoulder rehabilitation exercises are carefully designed to mimic the way the shoulder joint moves, slowly healing the injury. Fortunately, good physical therapy programs are available that can get you on the road to recovery.

The only way your shoulder is going to heal is if you stick with the program and are consistent with your efforts. Healing may be slow going. Rotator rehab, if done properly, can do wonders for healing and strengthening your shoulder. Being committed and self-disciplined are crucial to your success.

When researching rotator cuff injury exercises, be careful not to be tempted to start experimenting with random exercises you read about. Don't do something on a whim that may increase your injury. Only follow a program developed by a specialist in rotator cuff therapy. By following the advice of a specialist in this field, you greatly improve your odds of naturally healing your shoulder.

Rotator Cuff Injury Exercises - Full Rehabilitation Program for a Quick Recovery

The shoulder is an incredibly complex joint that is vulnerable to a variety of injuries such as tears or dislocations, but it can be recovered quickly with a specific rehabilitation program. A program of rotator cuff injury exercises consists of rotational external and internal movements to be performed regularly to strengthen the cuff muscles and tendons following an injury.

A shoulder in good health normally provides great flexibility and range of movement, but a torn cuff following high repetitive motions, a dislocation or repeated exertions can have the sufferer go on for months with pain and anti inflammatory medication. While rest and anti inflammatories are standard remedies soon after an injury has occurred, they cannot be taken as long term treatments because inactivity and drug dependency can make the problem worse and increase recovery times.

Instead, a program of professionally designed rotator cuff injury exercises should be the core foundation for a rehabilitative program, cutting down natural resolving times and gradually eliminating pain and the need for drugs. By targeting the Suprasinatus, Infraspinatus, Teres Minor and Subscapularis, all the 4 muscles and tendons making up the rotator cuff will be strengthened and put in a better position to heal than an inactive and drug dependent cuff.

The most common symptom of a shoulder injury is pain. Pain can be sudden and violent as in a trauma like a dislocation or large tear, or subtle and dull as in a small tear, growing worse with time with a characteristic feeling of weakness upon raising the arm. Following a tear and a period of rest on medication with the arm in a swing, the physical therapy program can be started.

Only the therapist can decide when the time is right and how to start implementing the program. For severe injuries, it is necessary to start with a passive phase in which the therapist performs the movements so as not to endanger the muscles and tendons. When the rotator cuff has sufficiently recovered, an active phase can be started without resistance. This means the injured person performs the rotational movements weight free, with his/her arm alone.

Later, the active phase will be stepped up into a strengthening phase, using elastic bands or light weights to challenge the cuff more vigorously, and finally into a full rehabilitation phase with gradual increases of resistance to fully recover the cuff, provide a solid foundation for all shoulder movements and limit the risk of future injuries.

These rotator cuff injury exercises are effective not just following an injury, but also as a preventive protocol to prevent injuries from occurring in the first place, and it can be used as a conditioning program even if not injured along normal weight or sport training to allow the cuff to withstand the exertions of high stress sports like tennis, baseball, golf or weight lifting where the deltoid and trapezius accelerations can overwhelm the rotator cuff underneath.

Consistency is a key factor for such therapy program to be successful, as is a professionally designed protocol of specific exercises for rotator cuff injury because DIY rehabilitation movements can do more harm than good and delay recovery, while the movements should be tailored to each individual case, depending on severity of the injury and age.

Rotator Cuff Injury - How to recover surgery free

Last year I messed up my left shoulder. I remember exactly how and when I did it, although at the time, it didn’t seem too bad. I had some flat packed office furniture delivered for the home office. Signed for it and then decided to carry it upstairs. Being impatient to see the new stuff in situ I decided to carry it on my own rather than wait for any help.

The chair was easy, the bookcase wasn’t too bad but by the time I got to the desk, my body was telling me to slow down, but I carried on anyway. It was an awkward shape so I ended up taking all the weight in my left hand and steadying it with my right. Half way up the stairs I felt a pain in my left shoulder, managed to get to the top but had to put it down and drag it the rest of the way.

I rubbed my shoulder, the pain went away and I thought nothing of it.

The next day the pain was back and worse, the day after it was worse still and within a week I had severely restricted movement in my shoulder. Trying to lift my arm out to the side resulted in a stabbing pain in my shoulder joint, reach behind me and I regretted it instantly. About two weeks after my desk arrived I trod on the pet cat. You know how they always run criss-cross in front of you around the house, especially on the stairs for some strange reason.

Well Tommy managed to get right under my feet this time and I trod on her. (Yep, Tommy is a girl. Ask my five year old son who named her) As my foot came down, I realised that there was something soft and large underneath it so threw my weight to one side to stop me hurting her, lost my balance and fell, putting out my hand to stop myself. Yes the left hand.

My wife said that I went completely white. She thought I was having a heart attack. So did I for a moment. The pain was unbelievable. Possibly worse than childbirth!

The next day I went to the doctor. This wasn’t going to get better on its own.

Torn rotator cuff was the diagnosis, confirmed by an MRI scan. With impingement of the Supraspinatus . I was given a steroid injection in the hope that this would settle things down and after a couple of weeks it seemed better, but then after a few more weeks it came back. My second visit to the specialist confirmed that surgery was the answer. Fortunately, living in the UK there was a waiting list of up to three months. Why fortunately, because of what happened next.

Being a keen swimmer, golfer and squash player, left handed of course, I wanted to get my shoulder back to pre injury standard as soon as possible. I could putt but not drive, squash was just not going to happen and swimming was fine as long as I didn’t try crawl, which was of course my favourite stroke.

So rather than waiting for surgery, which I was very nervous about, I started researching the injury on the internet to see if there was anything that I could do to improve things in the meantime.

I found out a great deal about how the rotator cuff is made up and certainly understood my injury a lot better than I originally had.

Basically there are four muscles that hold your shoulder joint together and also help it to move. Without them, your shoulder would simply fall apart. One of the reasons that it is relatively easy to dislocate a shoulder is that it is an open ball and socket joint rather than an enclosed joint like the hip joint.

If you damage any of these muscles the shoulder starts to work less effectively often putting extra strain on the remaining three muscles.

In my case I had damaged one of the tendons of the Supraspinatus muscle. This muscle runs under the clavicle or collar bone and this was what was causing me problems. Where the tendon was damaged it was enflamed and swollen so no longer fitted comfortably into its normal position. Every time I was moving the shoulder it was getting trapped and pinched, hence the pain.

The steroid injection had helped short term by reducing the swelling but as it wore off the pain returned.

What I also discovered is that surgery, although necessary in some cases, can be avoided through careful exercise. So with one month still to go until my operation date I am now pain free, swimming and starting to play golf again. As for Squash , I am beginning to think that it is a game for younger men than me so maybe even though I’m confident that I could play again I think I’ll just retire gracefully and focus on my Golf handicap.

Rotator Cuff Exercise Saved Me From Corrective Shoulder Surgery. Should You Be Doing Them?

Earlier this year I tore one of the muscles in my rotator cuff. Rotator cuff tears come in a number of different shapes and sizes and can be triggered by a number of different events so I was fairly lucky in that my injury was only a partial tear not, a full thickness tear.

I had a piece of furnitire awkwardly and put far too much strain on my shoulder. I felt a sharp pain at the top of my shoulder and fortunately had the common sense to put it down. I gave my shoulder a rub and carried on but the next time I lifted it was much more carefully. The pain had stopped and everything seemed fine, until the day after.

The next morning my shoulder was agony. Trying to lift my arm straight up in front of me, reaching out for anything or even getting dressed all caused me pain. I couldn't even tuck in my shirt without feeling a sharp pain at the top of my shoulder. Over the next three or four days my shoulder gradually became stiff up and the same movements that had hurt became increasingly painful. Not only did it hurt in the day but I was having trouble sleeping. If I lay on my bad shoulder I was kept awake by the pain. If I lay on my good shoulder, I had lie my arm carefully along my body to stop it dropping in front of or behind me as both those positions were painful Life was getting very difficult..

I resorted to sleeping on my back which really annoyed my wife as I immediately started to snore like a trooper.

In the end, I was diagnosed as having a rotator cuff tear. I had managed to tear my Supraspinatus tendon which runs under my collar bone, through a channel of bone before attaching to the head of teh humerus (upper arm bone). Because it was torn it had become inflamed. Because it was inflamed it was getting snagged on the bone every time that I used that particular muscle resulting in the muscle gradually fraying. Surgery was recommended. The aim was to shave away a piece of bone to give the damaged tendon more room to move so that it could heal. As I was in the UK the date was booked for three months away and I started a painful wait.

I began looking into shoulder injuries and their various therapies and found out that most rotator cuff tears are treated without resorting to surgery. Allow the muscle to heal with rest whilst treating the pain and inflammation with anti-inflammatory drugs and ice packs and then, once the pain has lessened start simple low weight rotator cuff exercise to build up and strengthen the muscles.

The most important element of this is the rest. If I had continued using my shoulder normally, I would have been damaging it further every time that I used that muscle. If I had managed to ignore the pain or even managed to work through the pain I could have eventually snapped the tendon completely. That would have definitely needed surgery!

In the end,by resting my arm amd avoiding any painful movement, by carefully treating the inflammation I gradually improved until I could do very simple easy exercises without any pain. As the exercises strengthened my muscles I regained the strength and movement in my shoulder and now ten weeks on I have full pain free movement again.

I'm lucky in that I have an office job. Just by changing my desk layout I could avoid using the injured tendon. If you have a more physical job you may have to think a bit more about how to avoid using the injured shoulderFeature Articles, but it is vital that you do so as continuing to use it will make it worse and all the therapy in the world wont help if you manage to tear it completely. Rotator cuff exercise features in nearly all shoulder injury therapy courses simply because the strength of the rotator cuff is fundamental to the health of your shoulders. Even if you have healthy shoulders it is worth spending a few minutes a day keeping these four muscles in good shape.

What Exactly Is A Rotator Cuff Injury?

Just in case you are not sure where your rotator cuff is located, it is positioned in your shoulder area. There are several ways to injury the rotator cuff and if you do suffer from such misfortune you will know it. This can usually occurs due to another injury to the area or it become worn down over time. Other this these obvious circumstances, it will take a great deal of force to do damage to this powerful tendon group.

The rotator cuff has a big job to do. There are four tendons and some muscles that all work together and keep the shoulder joint stable. This is not easy because of the fact that the shoulder is a ball and socket joint and movement involves a complicated involvement of all of the aforementioned tendons, muscles, and as well has three main bones. The bones, humerus, clavicle, and scapula, are all kept together by a few muscles and tendons and together it keeps that arm bone in place within the socket.

Many people experience problems with their shoulder area because of this wearing down process that happens with living. As necessary as being repetitive is, so too is the damage from these motions and this is very evident in sports and on the job. A closer look at what is really going on under the skin, is the rubbing friction between the bones and the tendons. This will cause slow wearing to occur and is especially prevalent in people with irregular shaped shoulder bones. Those who enjoy playing sports deal with this type of damage, but so do waitresses, carpenters and mechanics who often carry loads that exceed their ability on a regular basis.

More often than not, a condition called bursitis is the end result. This is because of calcium buildup in the tendons where partial tears occur. If inflammation is present, this condition is called tendinitis. You might be thinking that you have a bad or weak shoulder, when in fact your shoulder weakness could be more properly diagnosed as a torn rotator cuff and the inability to raise your arm is the result of damage other than the obvious pain that is involved.

A rotatory cuff tear is very hard to ignore. You will immediately have to deal with the pain. You will also notice a slight distinctive popping noise and know instantly that there has been some damage that will require immediate attention. You will also notice that any movementPsychology Articles, especially trying the raise your arm will be all but impossible. Just the mere weight of the arm will cause extreme pain. Sleeping will also be a challenge if you have to move your arm or shoulder much.

Rotator Cuff Injury Exercises -Can They Fix A Torn Cuff?

I had the bad luck to get a rotator cuff tear at the end of last year which really made me think about the rotator cuff muscles and how to fix them and keep them healthy. Some of what I found out quite surprised me and if I had known then what I now know about rotator cuff injury exercise I would certainly have approached my problem a bit differently.

So read along and hopefully you can learn from my mistakes.

If you have managed to damage your rotator cuff the first thing you need to do is stop using it. No, don't put your arm in a sling but do avoid any movement that causes you pain. I know that is easier said than done. We use our arms constantly, we swing them when we walk or run. Drop something and we instinctively reach out to catch it. We use our hands and consequently our arms to communicate. Resting our arms and our shoulders goes against our nature.

But, if you do not stop using your damaged shoulder, if you continue to do the movements that cause you pain you will simply end up damaging your arm further. Trust me, I did it! You must change how you move and work for two or three weeks to let the muscle heal properly. This is because the rotator cuff can get pinched or impinged when it is damaged and inflamed. That impingement can make the tendon fray and if you ignore it you can end up with a snapped tendon which is extremely bad news.

So, whilst you are taking it easy, take anti-inflammatory drugs and use ice packs to bring down the inflammation.

I made the mistake of working through a rotator cuff injury and made it much worse. I had tries anti-inflammatory drugs but only half heartedly. It was only when I rested my arm completely and maxed out on anti-inflammatories for about three weeks that I saw any improvement.

Do not pretend to treat the inflammation. Look after your shoulder properly. If you are following a doctor's advice, follow it thoroughly, don't kid yourself.

When you have managed to get the inflammation and pain under control do not go straight back to using your shoulder in the same way as before. You need to strengthen the shoulder and rotator cuff. This does not mean lifting weights and exercising the major muscles like the trapeziums. The rotator cuff is a group of relatively small muscles that help to keep the head of the humerus in the socket of the shoulder.

We use them without thinking and any exercise to strengthen them will not involve using weights. Rotator cuff injury exercise tends to be more Pilates based exercises concentrating on control and flexibility rather than power. Get your rotator cuff up to strength and your whole shoulder will be stronger. Ignore it and you are likely to have another injury pretty soon.

So. Like I said, learn from my mistakes. Take a cuff injury seriously. Rest it properly, no matter how inconvenient it is. Treat the inflammation and soreness for a few weeks, don't stop as soon as it stops being painfulArticle Search, carry on for a bit. When you are ready to exercise start with gentle exercises that focus on the rotator cuff. And keep doing the exercises when it is better. You do not want another cuff injury.