Why Is It Important to Do Physical Therapy Exercises for Rotator Cuff Correctly?


Quick Answer

It is important to do physical therapy exercises for the rotator cuff correctly to promote healing and prevent further injury, according to the Cleveland Clinic. For example, if a patient does not fully engage in an exercise because it is painful, its benefits are not seen. Pain lessens over time.

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Full Answer

In order for rotator cuff exercises to be safe, they must be done in specific stages. Skipping certain motions and jumping ahead early harms muscles and tendons, the Cleveland Clinic warns. Therapy begins with several weeks of gentle stretching. Strengthening exercises are not performed for weeks or even months, allowing tears to fully heal. Lifting the arm to the side should be avoided completely.

A common gentle stretch for the back of the shoulder involves bending the affected arm at the elbow and holding it relatively parallel to the floor, explains MedlinePlus. The hand of the affected arm is brought to the opposite shoulder, while its elbow is supported with the opposite hand. Push-ups performed against a wall help strengthen the injured shoulder. The injured patient faces the wall, standing far enough away to extend both arms. With palms flat against the wall, both elbows bend downward, bringing the patient's upper body close to the wall.

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