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Rotator Cuff Exercises

Updated: Jul 4, 2021

This blog covers six very useful exercises and some key do's and don'ts that we find useful for healing painful rotator cuff injuries. As there is no one size fits all recovery plan for any injury, the exercises below will need to be adapted to your specific situation. This is especially true of rotator cuff injuries due to the complex and variable mechanics of the shoulder joint.

Please note that this is not an in depth blog about rotator cuff injuries. Your TLC osteopath will also have further education, specific lifestyle and exercise advice to offer in addition to skilled hands on care. You can book in here

Do's and Don'ts for fixing rotator cuff injuries

During the initial phases of recovering from a rotator cuff injury, you should tactfully limit exercises that aggravate your pain. Typically, these exercises are the ones that aggravated your shoulder in the first place - such as swimming, bench press and certain styles of dance. Often, over head activities such as painting, shower scrubbing and heavy lifting activates will need to be avoided. Hooping is still possible but would need modification. As the muscles, tendons and/or bursae heal we will work with you to carefully increase your exposure to the activities that matter to you and your sport.

While you recover and get stuck into the below exercises, now is also a good time to double down on core, glute and leg exercises. So this means squats, lunges, rows and plenty of other exercises are good to go. Running is often o.k. too. If required, we will show you relevant stretches and foam rolling techniques. Posture matters a lot too. Try slump forward and then take your arms out to the side and as high as you can - not great aye. Now sit up straight, tall head with shoulders back and try again - better ? Rotator Cuff Exercises These exercises should be performed slowly. Very slowly. Tendons hate speed and bursas hate poor posture - when we move slow we are able to avoid both. 1. The Pallof press is a great exercise. When performed from belt height and pressed to forehead height you will recruit a neat muscle called the serratus anterior - often called the core of the shoulder. This exercise is an exception to the ratio above. You should aim for 7 seconds out, 3 second hold, 7 seconds back.

2. Sharapovas

3. The 3:3:7 ratio works here nicely. 3 seconds to raise the shoulders: hold for 3: lower for 7. This exercise can also be performed one handed off the side of your bed and a can of beans is an idea weight to start with.

As a final note, a strained shoulder is a strained shoulder. You are not injured, only your shoulder temporarily is. We are here to help, so if you are not sure please ask! Book now Written by Darryl Jenkins

TLC Osteopaths, Hamilton Nz

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