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When Your Rotator Cuff Goes Kaput!
Getting a good workout even when your rotator cuff is on the injured list.All is going well when suddenly, there's a pain in your shoulder. After a quick trip to your doctor, you find out it's your rotator cuff. Now what?
You don't have to sit around moaning and groaning. You can take action to rebuild your damaged rotator cuff. All it takes is three easy steps.
First: Think Protection
No matter what else you do, you will need to keep your rotator cuff from further injury by protecting it well. If you're doing something that causes your injured rotator cuff to hurt, stop whatever you're doing. Otherwise, your already injured rotator cuff can suffer an even worse injury that requires more serious medical intervention.
Depending on your life circumstances, this could mean putting an end to a number of activities that you perform on a regular basis. No matter if the pain kicks in when you pick up your child, perform a certain exercise, or sit in a certain position, you'll need to avoid doing these things when your rotator cuff hurts. Because, while there is such thing as good pain when you're in the gym, all pain is bad pain if it is affecting an injured rotator cuff.
Second: Strengthen It
You're not going to be able to baby it forever. Eventually, you'll need to begin strengthening it, and the sooner you get started, the better off you'll be in the long run. To get started, try these exercises. In the event any of them cause you rotator cuff to hurt, take a break and try it again later.
Lie and Lift - Lying on your uninjured side, allow your injured arm to rest on your side, bent at the elbow so your hand is on your belly. Hold a weight in the hand resting on your belly and place a small towel under the elbow of your injured arm. Slowly lift your forearm until it is pointed straight in the air, being careful to keep your upper arm against your side. Return slowly to the starting position and repeat.
Stand, Bend, Spin - Standing up beside a table, bend at the waist and place the hand of the uninjured arm on the table for balance, while your injured arm dangles freely. Slowly draw circles in the air with your injured arm, starting with small, tight circles, and making the circles larger and larger. Repeat this a few times each day.
Grab and Pull - Tie a piece of rubber tubing to a doorknob. Standing near the door, place your injured arm against your side, elbow bent at 90 degrees, and reach to your side to grab the tubing. Carefully pull the tubing across the front of your body keeping your upper arm against your side, and then return to the starting position for 10 repetitions. As you gain strength, increase the number of repetitions you perform.
Hold and Stretch - Place the hand of your injured arm on the middle of your lower back, palm out. Then reach back with your other arm and grab the hand. Slowly pull the hand belonging to your injured rotator cuff up toward your shoulder. At the peak of the stretch, hold for a couple of seconds, return to the starting position, and repeat.
Third: Remember the Rest of Your Body
An injured rotator cuff may keep you from a number of activities, but it shouldn't keep you from visiting the gym. On top of performing appropriate exercises to rehabilitate your rotator cuff, you should continue working out the rest of your body to maintain good health.
Just be careful. If any part of your exercise routine causes pain to your rotator cuff, skip that exercise set and get started on the next thing on your exercise to-do list. And if the pain continues after you're finished with your workout, try a little over-the-counter pain medication. In the event this isn't enough to ease the pain, contact your physician.
Aging with Care.
Rotator cuff injuries increase with age, so each year, you are more and more likely to suffer a rotator cuff injury. To beat the odds, exercise your shoulders frequently, use proper form when exercising, and take regular breaks during activities that require repetitive movements with your arms and shoulders.
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