Our body, when properly managed, acts as a tool that enables us to create the reality that we envision for ourselves. The joints, ligaments, muscles and tendons all work in fluid-like unison in order to move from one point to another with relative ease and comfort. Many individuals, particularly as they begin to experience the side-effects of ageing, notice pain within the system that prevents them from experiencing certain aspects of life. One of the areas of interest that draws major concerns from healthcare professionals is the rotator cuff located within the shoulder of the patient.
In simple terms, the rotator cuff enables the optimal movement on the entire arm and allows you to engage with the environment around you. When this area becomes damaged or broke, serious pain may occur and the situation may require surgery within the near future. Don’t be alarmed: There are numerous exercises and therapy treatments that can prevent, heal and strengthen the rotator cuff in order to live a life filled with joy and adventure.
Understanding the Rotator Cuff
In order to properly engage your cuff with therapy and exercise, it’s important to understand the inner-workings and intricacies within the area. The cuff is made up of a 4-tendon connection that ties into the long bone of the arm (humerus) and acts as the central hub that the enables movement of the limb. When a rotator cuff tears, it’s often from the connective tissue disengaging from the central hub which prevents movement from occurring without the experience of pain.
Similarly, rotator cuff tears and issues are one of the most common troubles that people experience within their lifetime. In fact, statics show that upwards of 30% of individuals over the age of 60 will suffer with this ailment at some point and require therapy or surgery to repair the area. Symptoms for a rotator cuff tear or injury may include night pain commonly combined with an aching sensation, trouble moving the limb in a fluid motion, difficulty lifting heavy objects, and even the inability to reach over the head.
Therapy and Remedies
Although a rotator cuff injury may sound like a heavy burden to carry, many patients live an active and healthy life regardless of this issue. Physical therapy exercises for rotator cuff injuries can be performed within the comfort of your home in order to ensure the cuff is in optimal strength for daily movements.
One of the exercises that one can implore to strengthen the area is by holding a small weight and twisting the arm from the point of the shoulder. Imagine holding a small dumbbell or plate away from the body and moving in a circular motion for a period of time between ten and thirty seconds. This practice will strengthen the small ligaments and connective tissue within the arm and allow the rotator cuff to grow strong and resilient. Patients can also perform a modified version of this exercise with various weights and movement patterns.