A torn rotator cuff is a chronic problem, affecting people in the sports field and adults in the forty-plus age group. Rotator cuff muscles form a supportive muscle group system, which does the important job of stabilizing the shoulder joint and making shoulder movements smooth. These muscles surround the humerus, a.k.a funny bone of the body and keep it fixed in the shoulder socket, during rotating movements. These muscles often get torn due to accidents, stress, and overworking, causing intense pain and muscle atrophy. If the muscle tearing is not severe, it can be treated with specially designed exercises, which you will find described below.
Here is a compilation of some recommended exercises, for people affected by a partial tear of these muscles. Severe tear cases, coupled with fractures, in which the movements of the shoulder are totally impaired, may require surgery.
In case of partial tearing, recovery can be made through resting of the muscle, external physiotherapy, and exercises. The complete healing from a tear might take some months. However, these exercises will accelerate your recovery, by helping the muscles gain strength.
This exercise can be done while lying down on any elevated flat surface. All you'll need is a lightweight dumbbell. Lie face down on a surface like a table, near its edge. Arrange your self in such a way, that your affected arm is on the side of the table edge.
Hold the lightweight dumbbell in your affected arm and extend it out, while bending it at the elbows. The fingertips should be pointing towards the floor. Next, rotate your arm up, till it's level with your shoulder and then let it go down again. Perform these actions slowly. Repeat at least 20 times or till your arm is tired.
The second one of the exercises, to help in a torn rotator cuff injury, is a variant of the first one. To perform this one, lie on your unaffected side and place a towel or cushion in the armpit, under the affected arm. Let the other arm rest under your head, in such a way that your head rests on the lower biceps. Let the affected arm be in front of your body, near the ribs. Bend it at the elbow, while holding the lightweight dumbbell in that hand. Now, slowly raise your hand, as if you are executing a tennis backhand. Repeat this at least 20 times or till your arm tires.
These two exercises are sufficient in the initial phase of recovery. It's a good idea to consult your orthopedic physician before you embark on these exercises, as he can tell you about the intensity of the exercise, that would be best for you, according to your current condition. These exercises can be coupled with anti-inflammatory medicines, cortisone injections, and ice pack treatment, in the period just after the injury.The arm will be put in a sling for some time. The best medicine is rest, which will help the muscles to heal, coupled with these two light exercises.
As the strength in your shoulder starts coming back, you can start more rigorous shoulder exercises, after consulting your physician.
Disclaimer: This article is for reference purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a certified medical practitioner or physiotherapist.