Exercises You Should Avoid When You Have A Torn Rotator Cuff

The rotator cuff is situated in your shoulder. It is actually a group of four muscles that work together, they ensure you can move your shoulder effectively. Damage to the rotator cuff means you will have arm weakness and may struggle to lift your arms above your head or behind your back.

The rotator cuff holds the shoulder joint together, surrounding the bones and attaching to the shoulder blade, and joining the upper arm bone. It’s the tendons that create the final join to the arm bone that tends to be damaged.

Causes Of A Torn Rotator Cuff

There are several reasons why you may be suffering from a torn rotator cuff. In general, this injury affects people over 40, athletes, and construction workers. It can occur through wear and tear. In other words, if you frequently undertake activities where your arm is above your head, (such as tennis), your rotator cuff is under increased strain and more likely to be injured over time.

It can also be a result of bone spurs. This is small pieces of bone growth that impinge the normal operation of a joint and cause pain. Of course, a rotator cuff tear can also be thanks to a trauma, such as a fall or lifting something too heavy and inappropriately.

Getting Help

You’ll need a doctor to confirm the injury and then it is important to rest your arm as much as possible. Hot and cold treatments can help to bring down inflammation. However, the biggest thing you should do to improve healing is to see a physiotherapist. They will instruct you regarding the best exercises to do to improve strength, help the cuff to heal, and look at what caused the injury.

You’ll find the best therapy services offer a home care physio to make it as easy as possible to get assistance. The good news is that, although it can take several months to heal properly, you can regain full movement and strength in your shoulder.

Exercises To Avoid

It is best to speak to your physiotherapist and follow their advice regarding what exercises you should do. But, there are some exercises you should definitely avoid:

  • The Original Activity

If the injury was caused by a specific activity, such as tennis, then you won’t be able to do this again until the rotator cuff has fully healed. Trying to will simply aggravate the injury and extend the recovery time.

  • Chest Exercises

You may feel that chest exercises place more emphasis on the chest than the shoulders but, if your form is even slightly off then the tension goes to your shoulder and will cause more strain and could make the injury worse.

  • Dips

It is unlikely that you’ll be able to perform dips properly as your shoulder won’t have the full range of motion it needs. It will certainly place additional strain on it and extend recovery time.

  • Behind Head Or Back

Any exercise that involves your hands going behind your back or above your head is a definite no. The truth is you’ll feel the pain and know you are doing something you shouldn’t be. Remember, stressing the rotator cuff will simply mean it takes longer to heal.

The best advice is to listen to your physiotherapist, they know what they are talking about.