It’s hard to do almost anything without moving your shoulder. Getting in and out of a car, washing your hair, or picking up a child all affect your shoulder muscles and tendons. The rotator cuff is a group of four tendons and shoulder muscles that hold the upper arm in the shoulder socket. An injury, overuse, or improper shoulder mechanics can all lead to a rotator cuff injury. Let’s review how to prevent rotator cuff injuries.
Who Is Most Vulnerable?
Anyone can be susceptible to a rotator cuff injury. Young and old, sedentary folks, and weekend warriors can find themselves with pain in their shoulders. Professional house painters, golf pros, and anyone who lifts their arms upward on a regular basis can end up with a rotator cuff injury.
What Are The Symptoms?
You have damaged your rotator cuff if you have pain on top of your shoulder or down the outside of your arm, if your shoulder or arm feels weak, if you have a loss of motion, and you can’t reach behind your back or upward.
An Ounce Of Prevention
Ben Franklin aptly informed us: An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. If you have a lifestyle or occupation that causes you to frequently reach overhead, preventing an injury to your shoulder should be top of mind.
What follows are some tips for how to prevent rotator cuff injuries.
Gentle Shoulder Exercises
Work the muscles and retract the shoulder blades, and then stretch the chest and back of your shoulder joint.
Raise your arms all the way above your head and cup your hands together. Then rotate your hands to boost circulation.
If you are planning on playing tennis, swinging a baseball bat, or any other activity, start with some simple warm up routines to loosen your shoulder muscles.
Keep Good Posture
Leaning your shoulders or head forward can cause shoulder problems and make you more prone to shoulder injuries.
Use Good Form
When doing any new activity, you need good form and mechanics to prevent injury. If you are inexperienced, get some advice and instruction from an expert. A physical therapist can help.
Avoid sleeping on your side with your arm overhead.
Practice Low Resistance Exercises
Introduce more repetitions to gradually strengthen the small muscles in your shoulder.
Frequent massage can relax shoulder muscles, and use warm and cold compresses to reduce inflammation.
Smoking decreases blood flow to the rotator cuff.