Rotator cuff rehab exercises are the most significant aspect in rotator cuff tear rehab. In fact, rehab from any cuff problem, will comprise largely of rehab exercises.
It is a straightforward, established truth that the recovery time for rotator cuff problems is dramatically reduced by a dedicated approach to following a rehabilitation program or protocol.
One of the chief reasons specified by surgeons and doctors for a failure in surgical recovery is a lack of patient observance with rehab exercise protocols.
Rotator cuff rehab exercises
Rehab exercises fall into four major categories.
- Resistance bands
Each of these categories can be broken down further but they are sufficient for this purpose.
Most people with a cuff injury are given a basic exercise routine or protocol to follow. You will then have been sent off to “do your rehab” and report back in 2 or 3 weeks for a progress report.
For the vast majority of people this is of little or no use. Most people remain uncertain of what exactly they are supposed to be doing and more importantly why. Setting about an exercise routine for the first time can be daunting.
I hope I can break down some of the barriers you may face. This simple rotator cuff training guide should be all you need to give you the confidence to get started.
Do not worry about “getting it right”
There are no real “rights and wrongs” in choosing which exercises to do. Any type of exercise from those shown above will aid in recovery. For best results, however, a mixture of all types will be beneficial.
Consider this; your shoulder is required to work naturally in many different ways. To exercise it through the full range of movements a full range of exercises are required. That being the case it is often best to use some imagination and make it fun.
Listen to your body
The most important thing you can do is to listen to your body. If you are feeling tired, have pain, or a reduction in performance, it means you need more recovery time. In some cases a complete break from exercise may be required.
A muscle requires anywhere from 24 – 48 hours to repair and rebuild itself. Working it again too soon, simply leads to tissue break down instead of building. For any weight training routines it is essential never to work the same muscle groups two days in a row.
Recovery from exercise
One of the most important factors that affect the benefits gained from exercise is recovery. The vast majority of people do not have an exercise recovery plan. This is despite the fact that a post exercise routine can have a huge impact on gains in strength and performance.
Ten simple steps to recover quickly from rotator cuff rehab exercises
- Rest – the body has an incredible way of taking care of its self; if you give it time. Exercise is important, rest is critical, do not overdo it.
- Warm up and cool down – always warm up before exercise and don’t just stop gradually cool down by moving around at low intensity for 5 – 10 minutes after exercise.
- Stretch – if you only do one thing after a workout make it gentle stretching.
- Replace fluids – you can lose a lot of fluid during exercise. Ideally try to replace it as you exercise, but filling up after exercise is a simple way to boost your recovery.
- Eat properly – your body needs fuel. Ideally eat within 60 minutes of exercise and try to include high quality proteins and complex carbohydrates.
- Active recovery – easy, gentle, controlled movements such as low intensity aerobic exercise improve circulation. This in turn improves the body’s processes and helps muscles repair faster.
- Ice bath – as I said above a little severe for a rotator cuff so let’s restrict it to localised ice treatment. Some people swear by alternative water therapy such as alternating hot and cold showers. My advice try it – if it works for you, it works for you. I am not a fan of ice baths!!!!
- Massage – massage improves circulation, allows you to fully relax and feels great. If you can’t afford a professional, simply massage the area yourself.
- Sleep – get lots of sleep. While asleep your body does some incredible things. The healing process continues unabated.
- Avoid over training – excessive exercise will limit any fitness gains from exercise and undermine your recovery efforts. Exercise a maximum of every other day. Your shoulder will be working naturally between times anyway.
Rotator cuff rehab exercises are proven to work. They will reduce pain, improve strength and increase range of motion. Be dedicated but do not overdo it. Follow these simple rules and you will have an effective, free, long term, natural and healthy solution.