Both sports fans and athletes know those shoulder injuries are serious. These injuries can be extremely painful, limiting, and slow to heal. Learn more about exercises to relieve rotator cuff pain.
A rotator cuff is four muscles that stabilize the shoulder and move. The rotator cuff acts as a sleeve that allows the ball to spin and roll while remaining on the tee. The most common rotator cuff injuries are bumps and tears.
- Impingement occurs when a rotator cuff muscle swells and cramps the space between the arm and shoulder bones, causing pinching. Muscle strain, other overload injuries, and bone spurs are common swelling causes.
- A rotator cuff tear is a less common injury when a rotator cuff tendon or muscle is torn. Most tears will not require surgery.
Repeated movements over the head can strain the rotator cuff muscles and are thus a common cause of injury, which is why athletes like baseball pitchers often have shoulder problems. A traumatic injury, such as falling on the arm, can also cause harm. No matter how it happens, the risk of the rotator cuff tearing up as we get older and the wear on the body accumulates.
- Warm-up your muscles by standing in an open doorway and spreading your arms out to the side.
- Grasp the sides of the doorway with each hand at or below shoulder height. Lean forward through the door until you feel a slight stretch.
- Keep your back straight while leaning and move the weight onto your toes. Do not overdo it.
Side-lying external rotation
- Lie on your side opposite the injured arm.
- Bend the elbow to 90 degrees and rest the elbow on the side. Your forearm should rest over your stomach.
- Hold a dumbbell in your hand to the injured side, hold your elbow to the side and lift the dumbbell slowly toward the ceiling.
- Hold the manual up for a few seconds before returning to the starting position with the arm down.
- Repeat 3 sets of 15 up to 3 times a day. Increase reps to 20 when a group of 10 becomes easy.
- Attach a resistance band to something solid at or above shoulder height. Make sure it is secure to not get lost when you pull it.
- Go down on one knee so that the knee on the opposite side of the injured arm is raised. The body and the lowered knee should be in line.
- Hold the strap securely with your arm outstretched, pulling your elbow towards your body. Press the shoulder blades together and down as you pull.
- Go back to the beginning and repeat 3 sets of 15.
- Have your feet shoulder-width apart and your knees slightly bent. Keep your back straight and lean slightly forward at the waist.
- With a lightweight in each hand, stretch your arms and lift them away from your body. Do not lock your elbow. Squeeze the shoulder blades together while doing so. Do not lift your arms above shoulder height.
- Go back to the beginning and repeat 3 sets of 10.
- Place one end of a band under the foot on the opposite side of the injured arm.
- Hold the other hand on the hip bend slightly at the waist so that the other hand with the band is parallel to the opposite knee.
- As if starting a lawnmower in slow motion, straighten up while pulling your elbow over your body to the outer ribs. Have your shoulders relaxed and squeeze your shoulder blades together while standing.
- Repeat 3 sets of 10.
When to see a doctor
Although these exercises can help build strength after a minor injury, a major or recurrent injury requires more attention. Contact a doctor if you experience:
- pain or deep pain
- problems lifting the arm
- problems sleeping on your arm more than a few days after the injury