The shoulder is a very flexible joint in the body. It is made up of a ball and socket joint that allows the arm to move in a wide range of movement. Shoulder instability can often lead to injury. Any shoulder injury can affect your range of motion and physical therapy can help you with this condition.
The rotator cuff is the group of muscles that works to stabilize the shoulder. The four muscles affected by the rotator cuff shoulder injury are supraspinatus, subscapularis, teres minor and infraspinatus. The first two are called internal rotators and the last two are the external rotators. Internal rotators are used to pull the arm towards the body and to rotate the arm with palms face in. The external rotators are used to do the opposite action.
Shoulder injury specifically to the rotator cuffs can be caused by sudden injury or due to chronic overuse. Damage can also be caused due to aging. Common rotator cuff injuries are acute tear, chronic tear and tendinitis.
Rotational exercises are applied for shoulder injury involving the rotator cuff.
- Lying external rotation is effective in activating the four muscles for a shoulder injury. This can be done by lying done on a bench on one’s side. Using the arm opposite the bench, bend the elbow at 90 degrees while holding a light weight or dumbbell.
- Standing horizontal rotation is aimed at the teres minor and infraspinatus muscles. This is done with light weight or stability cable.
- Scaption or lateral raise targets the supraspinatus muscle.
Other exercises for shoulder injury are range of motion and weight training. Range of motion exercises are done to improve the movement and the flexibility of a patient’s shoulders. Passive range of motion activities can be done if there are restrictions with the shoulder tissues. Active range of motion activities for this shoulder injury can be done to allow greatest movement if there are no medical constraints.
Weight training seeks to reduce shoulder pain and strengthen the affected muscles. Reducing pain associated with shoulder injury can also be done with shoulder stretches, pendulum exercise and using resistance bands.
Shoulder injury or any kind of shoulder pain should not be treated lightly. Although there are self-care treatments that can be easily done at home, it is always best to consult a medical professional to avoid any further complication.