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The rotator cuff is one area of the body that sustains injury rather easily if you are involved in sports activities. The rotator cuff consists of muscles and tendons in the shoulder, which can be torn or sprained if you overexert or twist your shoulder abnormally. Here are some methods for you to use to help treat the pain associated with a rotator cuff injury and some information about ways to strengthen the muscles in the rotator cuff area.
Rest Your Shoulder
Right after the injury occurs it is best to rest your shoulder for a week or two before trying to do exercise using your arm. Have other people lift heavier items for you as you are healing. Do your best not to reach above your head, as this can cause further damage in the first few days after the accident. Consider wearing a sling to remind yourself not to move your arm.
When you experience a rotator cuff injury, your doctor will most likely recommend you do physical therapy to regain strength in the area. A physical therapist will work with you to make a plan in the exercises to do to heal the rotator cuff. The physical therapist will watch as you do stretching exercises. Exercises start off easy and then gain in intensity as your shoulder begins to heal.
Physical therapy sessions also include mild electric stimulation, massage of the area, and application of heat and ice. Your physical therapist closely monitors your progress and this information is given to your doctor to decide if you are healing properly. Your therapist will check your range of motion when you go to your first appointment and will check on it periodically during the weeks following to make sure the exercises are helping.
Exercises will consist of tasks such as of sitting in front of handles attached to string on a pulley and pulling first with the left hand and then with the right hand. Another rotator cuff exercise is standing in front of a wall and seeing how far you can reach with the affected arm. Your therapist would use a ruler to see if there is progression. Most of the exercises consist of movements that will stretch the affected area.
If the pain in your shoulder is intense, your doctor will prescribe pain medication for you to take regularly. Rotator cuff injuries often lead to permanent arthritis problems in the area, so the medication is needed if you have stiffening which causes pain. Cold and wet weather usually causes the area to feel more painful.
Your doctor may recommend you have a corticosteroid injection to help relieve the pain around the areas of the rotator cuff. This medication is inserted into the muscle tissues where the pain is felt, and the effects of the medication last for several years in helping to relieve pain. It works by lessening the amount of inflammation, helping you regain movement of your shoulder quicker. The injection is given in the comfort of your doctor's office. Click here for more information on sports physical therapy.Share