All About Rotator Cuff Pain Exercises

By Alley Benton
Updated July 22, 2015
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All About Rotator Cuff Pain ExercisesRotator cuff injuries are known for being slow to heal, which means that even with physiotherapy or pain killer medication you might not feel that you're back to your old self for quite some time. Some people have ongoing rotator cuff pain that can be due to a tear in the muscle or tendon. This pain may never dissipate completely, but proper gentle stretching can help.

Rotator cuff pain exercises work to ease pressure in these areas by loosening muscles, which may become tight without normal use. These exercises are suggested by many physicians, especially for patients who are older and may be experiencing rotator pain due to wear, rather than a tear or injury. Check out some of these exercises you can do at home to relieve your own rotator cuff pain.

The Lawn Mower Stretch:

Known more commonly as the Lawn Mower Pull, this stretching exercise requires you to use a resistance band, which can be purchased at most fitness stores, or through an online retailer. They are often inexpensive, but quite effective. Standing with your feet apart about the width of your shoulders, hold the band beneath the foot on the other side of your body from your bad rotator cuff. The other end of the strap will be held in the hand of the injured cuff. Your free hand can be placed on your hip to help guide movements as you bend at the waist and straighten your body while extending your elbow of the arm holding the band behind your body.

As you can see, this exercise is named because it looks as though you are starting a lawn mower. This can be repeated up to ten times, although if the pain becomes too much, stop at once. Be sure that during the exercise you are keeping your shoulders down and relaxed. Many rotator cuff pain exercises require you to be relaxed and not tense during motion.

Overhead Stretch:

This simple stretch can be quite effective if performed properly; to do this you will need a counter or sturdy chair to grab onto. Line yourself up with the chair or counter, feet shoulder-width apart. Hold the chair in your hands and bend at the knees only slightly as you lean forward to stretch your arms out. Now lower your upper body, so that your shoulders stretch out. This one may seem easy to do, but it can be difficult at first to allow that stretching sensation to take place along your injured rotator. Bend into it as gently as you can, but continue to stretch out until you can't stretch anymore. Hold this for a count of fifteen seconds and relax. You can repeat this five times in the morning and five at night.

The Posterior Stretch:

You probably remember this stretching exercise from high school gym class, but it works as one of the effective rotator cuff pain exercises. This stretch requires no props or workout equipment, and can be completed just about anywhere. Using the hand of your uninjured shoulder, grab your elbow gently on your other arm and pull that arm across your body and upward. You know you are doing this right if the muscles feel like they are stretching out. This can be held for a count of thirty and released before repeating 5 times.

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This site offers information designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other health-care professional.