Rotator Cuff Treatment Cure and Prevention
About one third of us will have a rotator cuff injury at some time in our lives, I can't help believing that if we all did shoulder exercises as part of our daily routine, we would probably be able to significantly reduce that number
Around thirty percent of us will have a rotator cuff injury at some point in our lives, I can't help feeling that if shoulder exercises were part of our daily routine, that number could be greatly reduced.
Nearly Eight million Americans will suffer from a rotator cuff problem this year alone. So what causes it and what is the best way to treat it?
The rotator cuff is a small but vital group of muscles that stabilise the shoulder joint. The shoulder joint is made up of a shallow ball and socket joint. The ball at the top of the upper arm or humerus rests on the socket of the joint that is on the outer edge of the shoulder blade. You could think of it like a golf ball sitting on a tee. The muscles of the rotator cuff all run from the scapula to the head of the humerus holding it in place, surrounding the shoulder in a cuff of muscle which helps to stabilise the joint and stop it from getting dislocated every time that we lift something heavy or lift our arm above shoulder height.
Without the rotator cuff muscles it would be very easy to knock the ball off the tee, great in golf but not really what we want with a shoulder joint.
These muscles work hardest whenever there is a downward pressure on the shoulder joint. If you are working overhead, reaching out or lifting something they kick in to maintain the stability of the shoulder.
Which is why, if you injure any of them, you feel pain when you lift your arm up or out to the side.
As we get on a bit the rotator cuff start to weaken, usually through lack of use so we are more susceptible to this type of injury once we hit forty, although sportsmen are at risk as is anyone who is continually working above shoulder height, decorators, painters etc..
Fortunately the majority of rotator cuff injuries can be solved with the right sort f exercise. Most rotator cuff treatment will involve rest to allow the tendons to start healing, coupled with treatment of any inflammation with non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Most of the pain in a rotator cuff injury is down to the inflammation where swollen tendons can get impinged or trapped. It is vital to allow the muscles heal and the inflammation to reduce before beginning any physical therapy.
Working through a cuff injury will only make it worse and can even lead to you needing corrective surgery.
Once the inflammation has gone and the pain has settled down you need to do some shoulder specific exercises aimed at strengthening the rotator cuff muscles. You will usually find that within about six weeks, you can get a shoulder back to full pain free movement simply by following a rotator cuff treatment programme.
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If you want to know how rotator cuff treatment stopped me needing shoulder surgery check out my story at my blog