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Shouldering the Pain

Movement for Life by Lauren Walker, All Fit/All Ages Gym

Rotator cuff injuries are very common. The shoulder is responsible for the arm's movement in many directions. How do we recover from Rotator cuff injuries?


The nature of the injury will dictate the course of rehab. Trauma to the shoulder requires some healing time. Some people cannot lift their arms to brush their hair. Regaining mobility at the joint is important, but common sense dictates moving the joint when it's able.

Inflammation occurs after an injury which immobilizes the joint. This is a natural response. Icing the shoulder is highly recommended and using pain relievers if necessary. Once the inflammation comes down, the shoulder begins the healing process. Exercise is part of the healing, but where do you start?

A few factors dictate your exercise regime.

1. Functionality:

Any action which requires pushing, pulling, internal and external rotation and overhead is functional. Any restriction to functional movement means the shoulder is protecting itself from further injury.

2. Flexibility:

A typical example of shoulder flexibility is brushing your hair. Many people find it difficult to lift their arms to complete this action.

3. Strength:

Can you move weight? Putting a can of soup in your cupboard is an example of weight bearing.

I teach people, in order to recover from a shoulder injury, we must keep it within its "happy range of motion." For example, a basic bicep curl is a feasible exercise because it doesn't require shoulder movement. It helps to strengthen the shoulder while keeping it within a safe range of motion.

Recovery from rotator cuff injuries is possible. You won't have to shoulder the pain forever.

All Fit All Ages Gym is located in the Food Basics plaza beside Coldwell Banker.

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