When you have rotator cuff tendonitis, the last thing on yoru mind is exercise but that is precisely what you need to do to repair it. But, before you reach for the gym bag and rush off to lift some weights, stop and read the rest of this article.
Doing the right sort of exercise can repair rotator cuff tendonitis. Doing the wrong type of exercise will almost certainly make it worse, probably much worse. In fact if you exercise an inflamed shoulder incorrectly you will almost certainly end up making it worse or even snapping the tendon completely which would definitely put you on a list waiting for surgery.
Shoulder tendonitis or rotator cuff tendonitis is simply the irritation or swelling of the tendons of the rotator cuff. Its severity can vary depending on what caused the problem in the first place but is usually as a result of either wear and tear caused by getting older or a repetitive overhead action such as painting. It is common to certain sportsmen and is sometimes known as swimmer's shoulder or pitcher's shoulder.
So how do you fix rotator cuff tendonitis. Firstly, don't worry. It is a very common condition with roughly a third of the population experiencing it at some time in their lives. It is also fairly easy to fix with the right treatment.
To begin with the treatment will involve giving the muscles a rest and avoiding any movement that caused pain. These are bound to be any kind of overhead movement or reaching action. You might need to think about the way that you work for a few weeks in order to rest the muscles but it is essential if you want to avoid making things worse.
The inflammation needs to be treated with ice packs and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as Ibuprofen. If the pain continues it might be worthwhile having a cortisone injection into the muscle to reduce swelling. Your doctor can do this for you.
As soon as the muscle has settled down you need to start some shoulder specific exercises designed to strengthen the muscles of the rotator cuff. These are low resistance exercises that isolate this group of muscles and can easily be done at home. Going to the gym and lifting weights will do nothing for the rotator cuff muscles. These are small but extremely important muscles that help to hold the arm in place in the shallow socket of the shoulder joint and they are vital to the overall integrity of the joint. Weak rotator cuff muscles equal a weak shoulder no matter how much you have exercised the other shoulder muscles.
Rotator cuff therapy exercises are essential to regaining a healthy pain free shoulder and ought to be mandatory for anyone over forty just to keep our shoulders healthy. Unfortunately most of us aren't even aware of the existence of the rotator cuff until we get a problem and find out to our cost that we have been neglecting them.
I personally now do five or ten minutes of rotator cuff exercises every day simply to make sure that I never suffer from shoulder pain again.
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Exercise is the simplest way to solve rotator cuff tendonitis. I know because that's what stopped me needing surgery.
Read my story here
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