I was unlucky enough to tear my rotator cuff about twelve months ago. I knew that I had done something but like most of us had no idea what my rotator cuff was until something went wrong with it. It was only when I had that I started to take an interest in things and find out all about shoulder injuries to try to find out what was wrong with mine. It was then that I found out about the torn rotator cuff exercises that helped to fix my bad shoulder.
I had managed to tear the supraspinatus which is the tendon that runs through a channel of bone at the top of your shoulder before attaching to the head of the humerus. Because it was torn, it became inflamed and when it got inflamed it started to get pinched or impinged by the bone. From then on every time I raised my arm I was greeted by a painful reminder of my injury and the pain just got worse as the bone gradually wore away at my tendon.
Showering, getting dressed, reaching for anything, all became painful. Driving became impossible. At the peak of the pain I was maxed out on painkillers just to get by. I could not sleep on my bad shoulder and was getting really fed up with the whole situation.
My doctor had referred me to a specialist who after trying steroid injections for a couple of months, without any success, advised me that surgery was the best way forward. The idea was to cut away a small piece of bone to release the trapped tendon and allow it to heal.
In the meantime I had been carrying on my research into rotator cuff tears and problems and had discovered that a lot of injuries are treated with exercise. The first thing I needed to do was to give my shoulder a complete rest. I was lucky because I have an office job so it only took a few minor adjustments to my desk to sort out work. I gave up driving and asked for help whenever I needed to do something that was potentially painful.
I began taking anti-inflammatory drugs as regular as clockwork every four hours and within a few weeks my shoulder had started to calm down. My friends and family were fed up with running around after me but the shoulder had started to improve.
Next I began some exercises focused on stretching and stabilising the rotator cuff before moving on to strengthening exercises to help build it back up.
These are only small muscles so the exercises are not weight bearing and do not use any strong resistance. The heaviest weight I used was a tin of baked beans which was great because it meant that I could do the exercises at home.
Within about eight weeks my shoulder was back to normal, free of pain and fully functioning. The operation has been postponed and if you look in my living room window any evening you might well see me gently lifting two tins of beans. One for each shoulder. After all, one torn rotator cuff is enough for me.
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