The rotator cuff has the greatest range of motion of any joint in your body. It’s made up of muscles and tendons that help keep the ball of your upper arm bone securely in your shoulder socket. Rotator cuff injuries can occur from age, poor posture, falling, lifting or repetitive motion. Athletes such as football quarterbacks, baseball pitchers, swimmers and tennis players are especially at risk for rotator cuff injuries because of the use of shoulder muscles during those sports.
Rotator cuff injuries can be very painful. In addition, injuring your rotator cuff can also cause shoulder weakness… preventing full range of motion in the shoulder and making it difficult to lift objects or raise your arms. This can be very debilitating because patients can have trouble brushing hair, sleeping, or performing other daily activities.
Here are some ways to help prevent rotator cuff injuries:
- Exercise your shoulder regularly to strengthen the muscles and tendons. Consult your physician to see which exercises are appropriate for your age and lifestyle.
- Stretch your shoulder to increase range of motion. This helps keep your muscles limber and active.
- Wear shoulder braces for rotator cuff injuries to give your shoulder added support. Rotator cuff braces help stabilize the muscles and tendons and can alleviate pain for existing shoulder injuries.
- Take frequent breaks if you perform activities that require repetitive shoulder movement. Ask your employer if you can rotate tasks with other workers. Make sure you rest your shoulder during sports and other athletic activities.
- Use shoulder cold therapy products immediately if you feel pain or inflammation. This can help prevent further injury that could harm your rotator cuff.