How To Prevent Rotator Cuff Injuries

It’s hard to do almost anything without moving your shoulder. Getting in and out of a car, washing your hair, or picking up a child all affect your shoulder muscles and tendons. The rotator cuff is a group of four tendons and shoulder muscles that hold the upper arm in the shoulder socket. An injury, overuse, or improper shoulder mechanics can all lead to a rotator cuff injury. Let’s review how to prevent rotator cuff injuries.

Who Is Most Vulnerable?

Anyone can be susceptible to a rotator cuff injury. Young and old, sedentary folks, and weekend warriors can find themselves with pain in their shoulders. Professional house painters, golf pros, and anyone who lifts their arms upward on a regular basis can end up with a rotator cuff injury.

softball pitcher throwing softball to base

What Are The Symptoms?

You have damaged your rotator cuff if you have pain on top of your shoulder or down the outside of your arm, if your shoulder or arm feels weak, if you have loss of motion, and you can’t reach behind your back or upward.

You might only have a partial tear of your rotator cuff, but don’t wait, make an appointment with OrthoNY in the Capital Region.

An Ounce Of Prevention

Ben Franklin aptly informed us: An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. If you have a lifestyle or occupation that causes you to frequently reach overhead, preventing an injury to your shoulder should be top of mind.

What follows are some tips for how to prevent rotator cuff injuries.

Gentle Shoulder Exercises

Work the muscles and retract the shoulder blades, and then stretch the chest and back of your shoulder joint.

Raise your arms all the way above your head and cup your hands together. Then rotate your hands to boost circulation.

Warm Up

If you are planning on playing tennis, swinging a baseball bat, or any other activity, start with some simple warm up routines to loosen your shoulder muscles.

Keep Good Posture

Leaning your shoulders or head forward can cause shoulder problems and make you more prone to shoulder injuries.

Use Good Form

When doing any new activity, you need good form and mechanics to prevent injury. If you are inexperienced, get some advice and instruction from an expert. A physical therapist can help.

Sleep Posture

Avoid sleeping on your side with your arm overhead.

Practice Low Resistance Exercises

Introduce more repetitions to gradually strengthen the small muscles in your shoulder.

Massage

Frequent massage can relax shoulder muscles, and use warm and cold compresses to reduce inflammation.

QUIT SMOKING

Smoking decreases blood flow to the rotator cuff.

Make an appointment with OrthoNY if you are experiencing shoulder pain or to learn more ways to prevent rotator cuff injuries if you are vulnerable to them. Call (518) 489-2663 or request an appointment online to schedule a visit.