Rotator cuff strengthening is all about shoulder pain and its rehabilitation.
This process is an integral part of the treatment of every injury, otherwise the body part will remain weak and prone to further, and often worse, problems.
This is is the name given to a group of four that act to stabilize the arm. Pain and the so called adhesive capsulitis often involve one or more of these key muscles.
These shoulder muscles allow you to raise your arm, turn it and move it into many different positions, each carefully controlled and coordinated, as in hitting a golf ball accurately, for example.
Unlike the hip joint though, the shoulder socket is very shallow to allow for a greater range of motion. This makes the upper arm more vulnerable to injury, leading to pain, strains and tears.
Since the shoulder is non weight bearing, as are the hip and knee, it is much less prone to arthritis. An exception here is the AC joint, between the acromion and the clavicle. This joint that connects the collarbone to the shoulder blade is often injured in falls and, should it not be correctly managed with rotator cuff strengthening, it tends to becomes prone to immobilisation degenerative changes of the hyaline cartilage.
The acromioclavicular is second most arthritic joint in the body, after the thumb.
They are the
Acromioclavicular joint is pivotal to understanding the shoulder joint.
See if you can follow the thin clavicle, collarbone, at the top of the picture to where it joins with the shoulder blade, scapula, at the acromion. This acromio clavicular joint with its ligament is key to shoulder mobility. Chiropractic adjustment of the ac joint is very important.
The shoulder muscles are energised by nerves emerging from the lower neck. An old neck pain injury often lies at the root of shoulder pain. Have you perhaps been involved in a car accident or an old sporting injury?
The so called rotator cuff syndrome is a complex condition involving four shoulder joints, together with their capsules and ligaments, the shoulder muscles and their tendons, their nerve supply and the acromio clavicular joint.
In these shoulder syndromes, the muscles after being strained adhere to each other and the roof of the fossa which is formed by the acromio clavicular joint.
A sports oriented chiropractor will not only adjust your neck but
focus on these peripheral sites of injury, the four shoulder joints,
and a complete set of rotator cuff strengthening exercises.
Rotator cuff strengthening explains the syndrome and how is it treated?
The simplistic and safest rotator cuff strengthening exercises are the isometric exercises. A very good place to start, as Julie Andrews would say! Sound of Music ... (Sorry, a bit crazy this morning!) When you read you begin with A-B-C, when you sing ... when you strengthen your shoulder you begin with STRETCH-ISOMETRICS-DYNAMICS) These isometric exercises mean that the shoulder doesn't move! Here are six little exercises to start with. Whilst sitting in a chair, place your elbow against your side with the elbow at 90 degrees, and your hand straight in front of you. Using your other hand,
Do about five to ten repetitions each and every time you take a tea break. Start slowly, particularly if these movements are painful; there is no rush.
Isometrics are more effective that dynamic exercises in the initial phase after injury when it comes to rotator cuff strengthening, but you must do it in different positions. When these six are painless, then do them with the shoulder flexed at forty five degrees, say, and then ninety.
Strengthening exercises with movement should then follow. Once you can do the isometrics without pain, then progress using this inexpensive apparatus. It's a simple affair with a small pulley, and a cord with a handle at each end. Fix it in the door jamb, and pull away, changing the position.
Make your own arm exerciser for a fraction of the price; it's dead easy.
Once you can do that without pain, then it's time to move your ROTATOR CUFF STRENGTHENING on to light weights. Holding any tin can of around 400 g (1 lb) in your hand, start moving the arm in these same directions. Always start with stretching and do it at least twice a day.
A used bicycle tube is excellent for Rotator Cuff strengthening. Hook it over some fixed point, and start doing gentle exercises against the resistance of the tube. Inwards, outwards, forwards ... you can use your imagination, but follow a routine, gradually expanding it as you feel the shoulder getting stronger.
Warm up routine of golfer Padraig Harrington
Whilst none of us amateurs would consider a routine like this before playing sport, if you are a professional sportsman, where fine-tuning makes a profound difference at the finish line, then you may wish to think about Padraig Harrington's preparation before a round of golf.
Padraig was missing four to five tournaments per year due to injury. So he hired chiropractor Dr Dale Richardson to go on tour with him. Now he misses no tournaments. This is the routine that his DC has given him.
For a professional sportsman, Harrington's words are interesting.
One thing I know from my own experience is that my body needs constant attention, even when I take a few weeks holiday; because I can see even though I would be injury free for say a month, I can feel tightness and pain building up. I never used to pay much attention to those early signs; it wasn't long before that translated into bogeys on the golf course.
The basic principles here are:
Chiropractic help is for those who really have not desire to go under the knife for their shoulder pain.
The frozen shoulder is one of the most painful conditions faced in the chiropractic clinic. Prevention is the name of the game.
Two of the early signs are difficulty taking off a T shirt, for example, and placing the hand behind the back as in removing a back pocket wallet and fitting your bra.
When that starts to happen, do not delay; get chiropractic help sooner rather than later. A frozen shoulder, or adhesive capsulitis, can take three years and more to thaw.
Having read this page, should you want to read more about shoulder anatomy, (did I hear you exclaim, "four! shoulder joints?") and see some diagrams, then for more info about Rotator cuff syndrome and the Frozen Shoulder please click here:
Interesting questions from readers