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Agape Physical Therapy

5 ways to avoid rotator cuff injury

1.) Postural awareness

Any position for an extended period of time is likely not going to be beneficial. In regards to the shoulder, if the scapula is in a rounded position and the humerus is in an internally rotated position, this can cause excessive compression on tendons of the rotator cuff. This posture is commonly observed with people who are sitting at a desk for extended periods or clicking a mouse at a computer screen all day. 

The fix - maintain proper seated and standing posture to eliminate unnecessary stress on the tendons of the rotator cuff.

What is proper posture? Sit tall, shoulders back, chest up, lumbar support.

2.) Be aware of repetitive tasks

Whether you are working in construction hammering nails, stocking shelves at a grocery store, or fixing up a room at your house, repetitive tasks (especially overhead) can be very irritating to the shoulder. Repeated movement can cause wear and tear to your rotator cuff tendons, and eventually result in more substantial injuries. 

Preventative measures- keep your shoulder in a stable position and take breaks when you can

5-ways-to-avoid-roator-cuff-injury.png3.) Strengthen and stabilize your shoulder girdle

There are 4 main rotator cuff muscles, but over 10 more muscles that attach to your shoulder blade and humerus. It is essential to build up strength in your upper and mid back to maintain scapular stability, as well as perform exercises that force all of the muscles to co-contract and stabilize the head of the humerus in the socket of your shoulder blade.

4.) Maintain mobility in cervicothoracic spine

Having restrictions in how your neck and upper back move can result in decreased range of motion at the shoulder joint, which in turn can result in pinching or poor use of the rotator cuff. 

5.) Proper lifting mechanics

Keeping your shoulder girdle in a stable and active position while lifting or carrying items of all weight is crucial to avoiding excessive stress on the smaller rotator cuff tendons.

Tips - keep shoulder blade back and actively squeeze whatever you’re holding, this helps “turn on” the muscles throughout your arm and shoulder