The last thing on your mind when you have rotator cuff tendonitis is exercise but surprisingly that is precisely what you need to do to sort ot out. 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 help sort out rotator cuff tendonitis. Doing the wrong sort of exercise will almost certainly make it worse, probably much worse. In fact if you exercise an inflamed shoulder incorrectly you will almost certainly end up making it worse or even snapping the tendon completely which would put you on a waiting list for corrective surgery.
Shoulder tendonitis or rotator cuff tendonitis is simply the irritation or swelling of the rotator cuff tendons. How severe it is will depend on what the initial cause was but is generally the result of either wear and tear caused by getting older or a repetitive overhead action such as painting. It is an injury that is common to certain sports people 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 problem with roughly thirty percent of people experiencing this at some time in their lives. It is also relatively easy to sort out with the right treatment.
To begin with the treatment will involve giving the muscles a rest and avoiding any of the movements that causes pain. These will almost certainly be any sort of overhead movement or reaching action. You might need to think about the way that you work for a few weeks in order to allow the muscles to rest but it is essential if you want to avoid making things worse.
The irritation needs to be treated with ice packs and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as Ibuprofen. If the pain persists it might be worthwhile having a cortisone injection to reduce the inflammation. Your doctor can do this for you.
As soon as the muscle has settled down you need to start some exercises specifically for the rotator cuff designed to strengthen the rotator cuff muscles. These will be resistance exercises that isolate this group of muscles and can easily be done at home. Going to the gym and lifting weights will not do anything for the rotator cuff muscles. These are small but very important muscles that effectively hold the humerus in place in the socket of the shoulder joint and they are vital to the general health 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 mandatory for anyone 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 in the future.
Exercise is the quickest way to fix rotator cuff tendonitis. I know because that's what stopped me needing surgery.
Read my story here
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