The last thing on your mind when you have rotator cuff tendonitis is exercise but surprisingly that is exactly what you need to do to fix it. But, before you reach for the gym bag and rush off to lift some weights, stop and read the rest of this article.
The right sort of exercise can fix shoulder tendonitis. The wrong sort of exercise can simply make it worse, much worse. In fact if you over-exercise a badly inflamed shoulder tendon you can actually end up making it worse or even snapping it which would put you on a list waiting for surgery.
Shoulder tendonitis or rotator cuff tendonitis is basically 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 generally the result of either wear and tear caused by aging or a repetitive overhead action such as painting. It is an injury that is common to certain sportsmen and is sometimes known as pitcher’s shoulder or swimmer’s shoulder.
So what do you do if you have rotator cuff tendonitis. Firstly, don’t despair. It is a common injury with roughly thirty percent of the population experiencing this at some point in their lives. It is also relatively easy to sort out with the right treatment.
To begin with the treatment will involve resting the muscles and avoiding any movement that causes pain. These will almost certainly be any type of overhead movement or reaching action. You may need to change the way that you work for a while in order to rest the muscles but it is essential if you want to avoid worsening the injury.
The inflammation needs to be treated with icepacks and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as Ibuprofen. If the pain persists it may well be worthwhile having a cortisone injection into the muscle to reduce swelling.
Once the muscle has settled down it is important to start some shoulder specific exercises aimed at strengthening the muscles of the rotator cuff. These are low resistance exercises that isolate the rotator cuff muscles and can easily be done at home. Going to the gym and pushing weights will not do anything for the rotator cuff muscles. These are small but extremely important muscles that effectively hold the arm in place in the socket of the shoulder joint and they are extremely important to the overall integrity of the joint. Weak rotator cuff muscles equal a weak shoulder no matter how strong the other muscles of the shoulder are.
Rotator cuff therapy exercises are essential to regaining a healthy pain free shoulder and should really be compulsory for everyone 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 an injury 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 problems again.
My name is Nick Bryant and I am an older dad to two young children aged seven and five. I am keen on staying fit and active so that I can enjoy an active life with my children as they grow. Having suffered a shoulder injury that put me out of action for several painful months, I was keen to share my experience and let others know how I managed a full recovery without surgery despite being told that it was necessary.