How to Prevent Injuring Your Rotator Cuff?
A group of 4 muscles and tendons make up your rotator cuff. They provide stability and allow safe movement in your shoulder. Rotator cuff injuries are far more common than one would assume. Although these injuries are most commonly caused by wear and tear due to constant overhand motion of the shoulder or lifting heavy objects for long periods, they can also occur suddenly when falling or moving awkwardly. While rotator cuff injuries are primarily found in tennis players, baseball players, and other athletes, it is not uncommon for people with jobs requiring the overhand motion to suffer from rotator cuff injuries. Although rotator cuff injury is possible for many of us as we age, it is crucial to take steps to prevent it.
It is essential to warm up before any activity to avoid injury. It is also imperative to watch your form when performing an exercise or lifting weights. If you are ever in doubt when doing a new lift or trying something new, ask for help from an expert. That being said, specific shoulder workouts can be done to strengthen your rotator cuff and help prevent injury. You can even do exercises yourself at home with just a resistance band. You can find these workouts on pretty much any fitness page for free. These exercises also build the larger shoulder muscles that help support your rotator cuff. Therefore, working out your shoulder muscles to prevent injury is highly beneficial.
One should also do things during their daily activities to help prevent rotator cuff injury. Keep good posture and avoid sleeping on your side with your arm above your head or directly on your shoulder. Also, avoid smoking because it decreases blood circulation to your rotator cuff. Massages and cold presses are beneficial if your shoulder is sore or inflamed.
When to seek treatment
You should always see your doctor or physical therapist if you feel any pain or discomfort in your shoulder. For example, if you suffer nagging shoulder pain when performing daily activities like reaching up to open a cabinet or grabbing a can of soup off the shelf, seek help. Some other signs that your shoulder pain is from a rotator cuff injury could be pain preventing you from sleeping on one side, cracking sounds when moving your arm, limited ability to move your arm, pain in the top of the shoulder, and overall muscle weakness in the shoulder.