Since we put so much stress on our shoulders, rotator cuff injuries are a fairly common occurrence for millions of Americans each year. The rotator cuff is a collection of muscles and tendons that connect the arm to the shoulder socket while also being responsible for carrying out any number of basic arm movements. From driving a car to eating dinner to opening a door, you can’t do it without your rotator cuff. 

Rotator cuff injuries can include tears, sprains and strains that occur from repetitive motion or excessive force. As part of the rehabilitation process, exercise can actually do a lot of good, but it has to be the right exercises and they have to be performed properly. Certain exercises can even worsen the injury by putting the same types of stresses on the rotator cuff that caused the problem in the first place. 

Don’t do these exercises if you have a rotator cuff injury

While you should always clear any physical activity with a qualified professional such as a physical therapist, here are four in particular you should stay away from if you have a rotator cuff injury: 

  1. Lifting or pulling down heavy weights above your head — From olympic lifts to overhead presses to pulldowns, the combination of weight with the specific movement can worsen your shoulder pain. 
  2. Tricep dips — Also known as bench dips, this exercises involves putting most of your body weight on the shoulder and can actually impinge the rotator cuff. 
  3. Any exercise or sport that involves throwing — It should almost go without saying, but baseball, football, basketball and any other throwing-related sport should be avoided, if they weren’t already the cause of the injury in the first place. 
  4. Swimming — The constant shoulder rotation puts undue strain on the rotator cuff. Swimmers develop rotator cuff injuries quite often, but even if this wasn’t your primary sport, you should still stay away from swimming. 

By working with your physical therapist, you can develop a treatment plan including therapeutic exercises to help overcome your rotator cuff injury. 

Reach out to Arrow for rotator cuff injury treatment

Our team of licensed and experienced therapists can help you get back to a healthy and active lifestyle while offering long-term relief and decreased risk of reinjury. Contact us today to learn more and schedule your initial appointment.

Categories: shoulder pain