Torn rotator cuff, shoulder impingement, shoulder dislocation, shoulder bursitis or frozen shoulder. I don't know which of these you are suffering from, but shoulder exercise will almost certainly be as part of the road to recovery but you must be ceratin that it is the appropriate type of shoulder exercise and that you are doing it at the correct time in the healing process or you could be doing more harm than good.
With a rotator cuff injury, for example, it is vitally important to allow the muscles heal and any inflammation to reduce before you start exercising. The rotator cuff is made up of four muscles which help to stabilize and move the shoulder joint. They all run from the shoulder blade to the upper arm and help keep the ball at the top of the arm into the socket of the shoulder. They surround the shoulder forming a cuff of muscle, which gives the group their name. If you didn't have them the shoulder would be extremely easy to dislocate. One of these muscles, the supraspinatus, runs through a tunnel of bone at the top of the shoulder blade.
When it becomes damaged you can end up with a shoulder impingement where the swollen tendon is getting caught on the bone every time that you move it. This can lead to the muscle fraying and even snapping if you ignore it and try exercising. Trust me, you do not want that happening.
With a frozen shoulder, it may be frustrating but it is important to wait until the end of the freezing stage before trying any exercise as again you can cause additional damage. Exercises for frozen shoulder are based around regaining movement, often trying to work through the pain. If you did the same exercises for a cuff injury, you would simply end up doing even more damage and spending more time recovering. If you're really unlucky you could turn a simple injury, requiring rest and therapy, into a major injury needing corrective surgery followed by several months of rest and therapy.
So whatever the injury, it is important to get the treatment right. Any Pain is usually a good indicator that rest is required and with nearly all shoulder injuries that is certainly right. Rest the muscles and joint, try anti-inflammatory drugs like Ibuprofen or even steroid injections and once the inflammation is under control you can start exercising again, but always start with low resistance exercises.
If you have damaged one of the rotator cuff muscles, these are very small muscles that should only be exercised using low weights or resistance. To start with you would probably use no weight at all just using the natural weight of your arm to make the muscles work..
Never work through shoulder injuries of any sort. Rest first, let the healing start and then start to work the muscles and joint with the right shoulder exercises.
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My name is Nick Bryant and I tore my rotator cuff lifting something that was too heavy. Despite being told that I needed surgery I have managed a full recovery with just exercise. Check out one of my other articles on shoulder exercises
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