5 Steps to Natural Recovery of a Rotator cuff Injury

Woman with pain in shoulder. Pain in the human body on a gray background with red dot  

 

A painful shoulder can cause simple daily

activities such as taking a shower, getting dressed,

cooking a meal, or even sleeping to become difficult

and frustrating.  We often don't realize how much

we use our shoulder - reaching, pulling, lifting -

until we can't.

 

In fact, you can move the shoulder joint in more

ways than any other joint in your body.  This large

amount of movement also means it's not very

stable (we sacrifice stability when we gain mobility

and vice versa).  Because of this, it's easy for your

shoulder to go into positions that can cause stress

on the muscles around it.

 

The muscles that support the shoulder are called

the rotator cuff muscles . . . actually four

muscles that connect the shoulder blade to the

upper arm.

 

 

The constant, repetitive, and exaggerated

movements of the shoulder over time cause these

muscles to become injured, tight, and often catch

on bone.  Injury to these muscles are one of the

most common injuries we see here in the clinic.

 

Many of these clients head to the doctor with

shoulder pain and are given one of three options:

pain medication, injection, or surgery.

 

We often hear of people living on pain medication

in order to make it through a day work day or

workout.  They are concerned, because over time

this could negatively affect their overall health.

 

If avoiding medication, you may be offered a local

anesthetic or cortisone injection that will likely

provide immediate relief.  However, this is only

temporary.  It only masks the problem if

nothing more is done.

 

If a rotator cuff muscle is actually torn, you may

be told your shoulder pain can only be fixed by

surgery.  But, I wouldn't immediately book the

operating room.

 

It's been reported that approximately 50% of

patients with rotator cuff tears are relieved of

pain and regain use of their shoulder through

non-surgical methods of treatment.

 

Opting out of surgery does not mean letting the

pain go away on it's own.  If you have had pain in

your shoulder for more than 2 weeks, it's not

likely to disappear.

 

It's going to require some work . . . but it will be

worth it!

 

Here are 5 first steps to natural rotator

cuff recovery:

 

1. Initially avoid overhead activities

 

Overhead activities place the shoulder in its most

vulnerable position.  The muscles around the

shoulder tighten up to protect it.  This is

counterproductive to decreasing inflammation

and healing the muscle.

 

2. Stretch

 

You must stretch all your shoulder muscles. This

loosens the joint up and increases the space for

your rotator cuff muscles to work. In addition,

loose and relaxed muscles are less likely to be

injured.

 

3. Strengthen

 

Once you stretch the muscles of the shoulder, we

have to strengthen them.  This includes the

muscles in between the shoulder blades that pull

your shoulders back and give them the support

they need.

 

4. Improve posture

 

Posture is critical to relieving any type of

shoulder pain.  Poor posture over works and

stretches the muscles. In addition, upper back

muscles that help support the shoulder become

weak in this position.

 

Every time you feel yourself slouching stop and

pull your shoulders back and squeeze those

shoulder blades together.

 

5. Interrupt the pain cycle

 

Often times, stretching and strengthening isn't

possible because of the severe nature of pain.

Treatments including taping, manual therapy,

massage, or reeducation of the muscles are

needed to break the pain cycle.

 

Pain is a signal that something is wrong and

not to be ignored.  It must be addressed first

to safely begin moving the joint freely. An

experienced orthopedic manual therapist can

most efficiently get you on the road to pain free

recovery.

 

Just imagine what your life could be like if your

shoulder pain was gone.  Could you do your job

pain free? Could you lift your grand kids easily?

Could you finish that workout at the gym that

you have been unable to do?   This pain free

life is possible without medications or

surgery.

 

Inquire today as to whether physical therapy is

the answer you have been looking for to end your

shoulder pain once and for all so you can get back

to the life and activities you love.

Just click HERE to request a FREE discovery call.