What is Rotator Cuff Injury & What are its Symptoms?

The rotator cuff injury also known as rotator cuff syndrome occurs due to considerable stress on the four shoulder muscles. The four small rotator cuff shoulder muscles are subscapularis, supraspinatus, teres minor and infraspinatus. These muscles are responsible for controlling the shoulder movement of the shoulder blade. As the name goes, the rotator cuff muscles are responsible for the rotation of the shoulder and they form a cuff around humerus (shoulder ball) head.

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What is Rotator Cuff Injury & What are its Symptoms?

Symptoms of Rotator Cuff Injuries Include:

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  • Weakness in lowering or lifting the arm.
  • A cracking sound in the shoulder when the arm moves.
  • Sensation of pain when pressure is applied on the shoulder or when you are lying over your shoulder.
  • Weakness coupled with soaring pain when rotating the arm.

When you are suffering from rotator cuff injury, pushing yourself will only intensify your pain and aggravate the condition. It is also possible that if timely attention is paid to rotator cuff injury, then a person will easily recuperate from it without having to undergo any surgery. In short, the four simple recovery methods are rest, modification, physical therapies and strength training.

What are Some Common Rotator Cuff Injuries?

The rotator cuff injuries range from mild inflammation to (rotator cuff tendonitis) to full and the partial tear of the rotator cuff tendon, which often requires the patient to undergo the surgery. Listing below some of the common rotator cuff injuries:

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  • Rotator cuff impingement.
  • The rotator cuff tendonitis.
  • Shoulder bursitis (it's a sac filled with fluid, which acts as a cushion between the bones and the tissues).
  • Calcific tendonitis.
  • The rotator cuff tears.
  • Bicipital Tendonitis.

5 Essential Exercises to Prevent Rotator Cuff Injury

The rotator cuff injury can be easily avoided if a sportsperson follows certain guidelines and exercises. In order to prevent rotator cuff injury, you first need to include the cuff muscles in the shoulder system. You will also have to be attentive to the length and the timing of the exercises. Your shoulder blade, hips and back are all connected and these exercises would help you in strengthening all of them.

To prevent rotator cuff injuries and strengthen the shoulder, try these 5 exercises:

  1. Internal and External Rotation Using Dumbbell Curls to Prevent Rotator Cuff Injury

    Lie down on your back with your knees bent and your arms lying on the sides and your elbows bent at 90 degrees. Hold a dumbbell and then start rotating your arms forwards and then backwards. Your shoulders through this exercise should be firm on ground. Repeat this 8-12 times with each hand.

  2. Resistant Band Exercise to Prevent Rotator Cuff Injury

    Use a resistant band, which is hooked on one end of a wall. Now stand straight with your elbows fixed behind your back. Slowly pull the resistant band with one elbow, with the other elbow locked behind your back. Do 20 reps of this with each elbow. But make sure that the resistant band doesn't feel too tight or intense when you pull it. Doing this exercise helps in preventing rotator cuff injury.

  3. Forward Flexion & Shoulder Raises to Prevent Rotator Cuff Injury

    Hold two light dumbbells and face towards the wall with the body straight. You can also face or stand in front of a mirror. Now hold the dumbbell and lift one dumbbell straight at 90 degrees. Repeat the exercise with each hand to avoid rotator cuff injury.

  4. Pendulum Exercise- Circle & Reverse Circle to Prevent Rotator Cuff Injury

    Also known as Codman's exercises, the pendulum exercises are intended as passive motion shoulder exercises. The body`s momentum in this exercise should be the sole driving force and the arm should move gently. Note: If there is any sort of contraction of muscles around the shoulder during the exercise, then it means that you are not doing the exercise in the correct manner.

  5. Pendulum Shoulder Exercises to Prevent Rotator Cuff Injury

    This exercise is often recommended to patients post their surgeries and it is one of the most important exercises, which prevents the shoulder injury. It promotes and regulates the blood flow in the shoulder, which prevents rotator cuff injury later. To perform these exercises correctly, you can also watch some tutorials on the internet in order to do them properly. Lack of knowledge often drives people to perform these exercises wrongly, which is harmful.

How are Rotator Cuff Injuries Caused?

In the year 2008, more than 2 million cases of rotator cuff injuries were reported, out of which most of the patients hailed from athletic backgrounds. Majority of them comprised up of swimmers, basketball players, tennis & volleyball players. Sports activities, which involve stretching and aggressive movement of arm over the head ultimately puts a lot of stress on the shoulder muscles and this is the reason why rotator cuff injury occurs. In athletes, the rotator cuff injury arises because of either overtraining, the repetitive aggressive movement of arm over the head and degeneration.

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD,FFARCSI

Pain Assist Inc.

Last Modified On: January 24, 2018

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

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