Forums General Rotator Cuff tweak Re: Rotator Cuff tweak

AvatarAydan Mcmahon

Hey Mike, 

Been there, done that, buddy 🙁

The best start exercise ever for a sprained rotator cuff exercise:  stand in anatomical neutral with your hand/arm/shoulder up against a wall.  Slowly walk your fingers up the wall, keeping your arm straight and shifting your body away from the wall and then back in again as needed so that just the tips of your fingers can continue walking.  Ideally end with your arm fully extended overhead, but if you feel a twinge of pain at any point, STOP at that height for the day.  Only go as far as it is comfortable and work your way up until you can get the full range without pain.  
Once you can do that start adding in basic physio band rotation exercises (youtube is loaded with them; this is a good summary  Keep the smashing light, if any for the first while.  I would slowly add in the least aggressive mobs and work my way up again.
I like heat because it helps me relax those muscles.  Hot baths are good because it gets them all!  Not essential (your body generates far more heat and blood flow with simple movement), but it’s good psychological therapy as well.  I tend to avoid ice these days, especially close to the armpit which is lymph node central.  

The hardest part is that when you start lifting overhead again, you are going to have to start light.  Embarrassing light.  Last time I sprained mine badly (an excessive surfing while on holiday incident), I ended up starting with 5 lb dumbbells, and for some exercises it was too much and I had to stick to bands or no weights.  It was 3 months before I was back to normal…slow and steady. You may have to take a break from ball for a week or two or more depending on the severity of your tweak.  Throwing is fairly explosive, so you want to get your stable movement strength up before you graduate to explosive (as per post 400, noted by Kaitlin above).

Once you do get back to full function, I suggest a thorough warm-up before the next game.  I used to pull various muscles every season playing ball because no one warms up for beer league, right?  Fail.  If you know you are competitive enough to throw everything down when it comes down to a sweet play, make sure your body is prepped for it.  I maybe the only one doing a warm up on the field, but I have also been injury free for 2 seasons running!  Winning!

Hope my ranting is somewhat helpful.  Good luck!