Extremely painful, limiting and slow to heal, rotator cuff injury is something that every athlete goes through. The rotator cuff is a group of four muscles that stabilize the shoulder and allow it to move. The most common rotator cuff injuries are impingements and tears.
Impingement: This occurs when a rotator cuff muscle swells and cramps the space between the arm and shoulder bones, causing pinching. Muscle strain, other overuse injuries, and bone spurs are common causes of swelling.
Tear: A less common injury, a rotator cuff tear occurs when a rotator cuff tendon or muscle is torn. Most tears will not require surgery.Certain exercises can help you heal and prevent issues such as “frozen shoulder” or loss of range of motion. These exercises include:
Warm up your muscles by standing in an open doorway
Spread your arms out to the side
Grip the sides of the doorway with each hand at or below shoulder height
Lean forward through the doorway until you feel a light stretch
Keep a straight back as you lean Shift your weight onto your toes
Once you feel a stretch in the front of your shoulder, stop.
Side-lying external rotation
Lie down on the side opposite your injured arm
Bend the elbow of your injured arm to 90 degrees
Rest the elbow on your side.
Your forearm should rest across your abdomen.
Hold a light dumbbell in the injured side's hand
Keep your elbow against your side
Slowly raise the dumbbell toward the ceiling
Stop rotating your arm if you feel strain
Hold the dumbbell up for a few seconds before returning to the start position with your arm down.
Attach a resistance band to something sturdy at or above shoulder height
Be sure it is secure so it doesn't come lose when you pull on it
Get down on one knee so the knee opposite your injured arm is raised
Your body and lowered knee should be aligned
Rest your other hand on your raised knee
Holding the band securely with your arm outstretched, pull your elbows toward your body
Keep your back straight and squeeze your shoulder blades together and down as you pull Your body should not move or twist with your arm
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your knees slightly bent.
Keep your back straight
Bend forward slightly at the waist
With a light weight in each hand
Extend your arms and raise them away from your body
Do not lock your elbow
Squeeze your shoulder blades together as you do so
Do not raise your arms above shoulder height