Shoulder savvy: understanding and protecting your rotator cuff

Your shoulder can be easily injured due to its complexity and vast range of motion and injuries are common, particularly in your rotator cuff. In this article, we explore what the rotator cuff is, how injuries can occur, and what you can do to keep your shoulders healthy.

The rotator cuff is a group of four muscles and tendons that are situated in your shoulder joint. They work together to stabilise your shoulder and enable you to move your arm, allowing you to perform essential everyday activities such as lifting, reaching, and throwing.

How do injuries occur to the rotator cuff?
Rotator cuff injuries can be due to various reasons, including trauma, overuse, or age related degeneration.

Traumatic injuries can result from a fall, a direct blow to your shoulder, or sudden excessive force on your shoulder joint. Overuse injuries happen when your rotator cuff muscles and tendons are repeatedly overworked, such as during repetitive overhead activities like throwing, swimming, or weightlifting. Age-related degeneration occurs naturally over time as the tendons lose their elasticity and become more prone to tears.

How do injuries affect general health?
Rotator cuff injuries can have a signi"cant impact on your body and your wellbeing. They can cause pain, weakness, limited mobility, difficulty performing daily activities, and even affect your sleep and mood.

If left untreated, rotator cuff injuries can lead to long-term pain and muscle imbalances. Moreover, the movements or postures you may adopt to avoid shoulder pain can lead to issues in other parts of your body, affecting overall musculoskeletal health.

Can rotator cuff injuries be prevented?
Fortunately, there are preventive measures that you can take to keep your rotator cuff healthy and prevent injuries:
• Maintaining proper posture helps align your shoulder joint, reducing stress on your rotator cuff muscles and tendons.
• Warm-up and stretching exercises before any physical activity can help prepare your body for the upcoming stress and reduce the risk of injury.
• Regular strength training exercises that target the rotator cuff muscles can help improve their strength and stability, reducing the risk of injuries.
• Practice proper lifting techniques when lifting heavy objects. Use your legs and avoid lifting with your shoulders to reduce strain on the rotator cuff.
• Take regular breaks if you perform repetitive overhead activities to avoid overuse of your rotator cuff muscles.

Taking preventive measures can go a long way in keeping your shoulders healthy and reducing the risk of injuries. Remember to pay attention to your body, and talk to us if you experience any issues with your shoulders. We provide personalised advice based on a professional diagnosis.

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Shoulder savvy: understanding and protecting your rotator cuff
Coastline Chiropractic Port Macquarie's Leading Chiropractors