In our Arise Physical Therapy video series, Justin demonstrates exercises to improve overhead mobility. Throughout the series, you will hear or have already heard him speak of your “rotator cuff”. In case you didn't know, the rotator cuff is a group of muscles and tendons that surround the shoulder joint and are responsible for its stability and mobility. Have you ever wondered what muscles allowed you to shake your post-workout protein drink? Probably not, but you're about to find out.
The rotator cuff is made up of four muscles and is prone to injury. Engaging in activities that involve repetitive arm movements, aging, poor posture and degenerative conditions such as arthritis increase your risk of injury. Injuries include straining, spraining and even tearing your rotator cuff. For one day, even just one hour, try completing your daily tasks without rotating your shoulders, you’ll quickly find that a tear in your rotator cuff will significantly impact your life.
What you’ve likely noticed in our 6 week Overhead Mobility series is a focus on strengthening the muscles that provide stability and mobility in the overhead position. Your rotator cuff is no different. A particular exercise you will see in week 3 of our series (below) is called a Partial Turkish Get-up. Get yourself a kettlebell or dumbbell with a comfortable yet significant weight. Lay on your back with your right knee bent up. Lift your weighted right arm straight-up making sure it is always above you throughout the exercise. From here lift yourself up to rest on your left elbow. After this, lift yourself onto your left hand. Come back down to your left elbow and finally back down to the initial position. Three things to remember is to keep the weight above you, brace your core and maintain control throughout the exercise. Repeat this for your opposite side. This and other exercises in the video will help you to strengthen your rotator cuff, improve your stability and mobility and reduce your risk of rotator cuff injury.
If you have pain, weakness, and difficulty lifting or rotating your arm. It can be treated with rest, ice, compression, and elevation (RICE). If the symptoms persist you can book an appointment with one of our Physical Therapists HERE
The rotator cuff is an important group of muscles and tendons that play a crucial role in shoulder mobility and stability. Rotator cuff injuries can be painful and limit your ability to perform everyday activities. With proper prevention and treatment, however, most people are able to recover from a rotator cuff injury and regain full function of their shoulder.