Shoulder Pain Rotator Cuff Injury and Activation

Do you get shoulder pain? Many people get shoulder pain from different activities. Some people get pain from sports such as, baseball and tennis or often times from poor posture from driving or at your computer for too long. Sometimes people will even get pain when they lift their arm and can have an arc of pain when they raise their arm. Most times the rotator cuff muscles are involved when this happens. The rotator cuff is a group of muscles around the shoulder that help to control the ball and socket movement of the shoulder, and keep things balanced, so it lessens pain. Often we get imbalances around the shoulder.

Here’s Jamie to show you an exercise to engage your rotator cuff muscles with lifting the arm to help you learn to move better.

We’re going to show you another exercise for the shoulder. Basically what this one is, is a combination of rotator cuff activation and scapular stability. So what Holly is going to do is basically hold a cloth or bungee cord in front of her – just in this position, if you put a little bit of pressure or tension through the towel that will start to activate the rotator cuff. So all the muscles at the back of the shoulder blade. Then what she is going to do is slowly elevate in front, and the idea with this one is to keep the upper shoulder calm and almost try to slide the armpits forward, if that makes sense. Basically what you’re going to be doing with that is keeping the rotator cuff active while working on scapular stability. This one is actually quite fatiguing, so usually what I try to do is two sets of about 10, just up and down and then relax.

In this case, Holly is having a little bit of trouble keeping the left shoulder down. How would you cue her with that to help her maintain that? Would you use a mirror?

Often times we would do it in front of a mirror so that you can feel that shoulder blade stays level with the other one. That’s a little bit better there. I find that cue of trying to push the arm pits forward as opposed to elevate the arms makes a big difference for a lot of people.

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