Uh, Rotator Cuff Injuries, Really Not Nice But You Can Prevent Them....How?
Rotator Cuff Injuries? Ugly Pain, Right?
Prevent them before they've a chance to rear their "ugly" heads!
Simply by toning and stretching your shoulder muscles to good, conditioned forms and apply a bit of common sense, too!
Have you had these injuries before?
Chances are you've had one because they're fairly common.
But you may not even know it since not every injury of the rotator cuff causes significant pain or disability.
I once experienced the injuries when I was doing "overhead shoulder press" exercise. In my eagerness to tone and sculpt my shoulders, I did too many reps per set until one day,suddenly, I heard a "popping" sound in my shoulders.
Pain in my shoulders. It wasn't a nice sensation, I can tell you.
In many cases, you may not experience pain when you've rotator cuff injuries as it could be hard for you to localize the pain to a specific area.
At most, you'll feel that it's a generalized discomfort when you move your shoulders.
Causes of Rotator Cuff Injuries
What I want to show you here are 2 major causes:
- General wear and tear
Your shoulder is an area that doesn't receive much blood supply especially the tendons of your rotator cuff muscles which don't receive oxygen and nutrients from the blood supply. As a result, the tendons are proned to degeneration with aging.
That's the reason why injuries of rotator cuff are common in older people.
This lack of blood supply is also the reason why a rotator cuff injury can take quite a while to heal.
- Applying excessive force or putting too much strain on the tendons of your rotator cuff muscles
This normally occurs when you try to lift things that are far too heavy for you or when you apply force to your arms while they're in unusual or awkward positions
Two common symptoms of rotator cuff injuries are:
Like I said before, pain isn't usually felt when a rotator cuff injury takes place.
At most, if you do feel pain, you may only take it as a generalized pain, hard for you to pinpoint the area of pain.
- Decreased Strength
Generally, if you're unable to raise your arms above your head or to extend your arms directly to the sides or to the front, then this is a more reliable sign that you've suffered rotator cuff injuries.
If the tear or damage to the tendons is severe, it becomes more difficult to move your arms and the injured area.
What Sorts of Treatments you can Administer?
For a rotator cuff injury, the earlier the injury is treated, the better.
The first 48 to 72 hours are crucial to a complete and speedy recovery.
You would want to quickly apply the R.I.C.E. regime to the injury i.e. Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation.
- Rest your shoulder and stop doing what caused the pain and try to avoid painful movements. Limit heavy lifting or overhead activity until your shoulder starts to feel better
- Apply ice as it helps reduce inflammation and pain. Use a cold pack or a towel filled with ice cubes for 15 to 20 minutes at a time. Do this every couple of hours the first day or two
- Compression (use of a pressure bandage) helps to prevent or reduce swelling. Wrap the injured area with an elastic bandage, but not so tightly that the blood is cut off. It shouldn't hurt or throb.
The elastic bandage should be taken off every 4 hours and reapplied
- Elevation means raising the injured shoulder above the level of the heart. The affected shoulder area should be elevated so it's 12 inches above the heart, to help reduce swelling
Note: Elevation can be done with several pillows
After you've treated the injury with the R.I.C.E. regime, it's time to go into the next stage of treatment.
As I mentioned earlier, your shoulder joint receives little blood supply. So, what can you do to increase blood flow to the injured area?
Well, you can put hot packs or a heating pad to help increase blood flow to your shoulder area, besides helping to relax tightened and sore muscles.
Alternatively, heat lamps and heat-based cream are good choices too.
The next thing to do is to massage your shoulder muscles to increase blood flow to the injured area.
Massage also helps to reduce the amount of scar tissue associated with all muscles and tendons, strains and tears.
Lastly, keep your shoulder muscles limber by doing some gentle exercises. Once your injury heals and you've good range of motion in your shoulder, continue exercising.
Prevention is Better than Cure!
Prevention of rotator cuff injuries boils down to the following simple steps:
- Warm up properly before you start your toning exercise routine, be it shoulder exercise or any other exercises
- A balanced rotator cuff exercise and shoulder stretches routine can help you prevent a recurrence of your injury
- Apply a bit of common sense by listening and knowing how far your shoulder muscles can go in exercising or in lifting things or in sports activities
How's your Handling of your rotator cuff Condition?
No probs there, right?
Dealing with your rotator cuff injuries?
If they're not severe, it's OK for you to treat them on your own.
However, if your injuries are severe, go seek medical help as soon as possible.
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