5 Simple Rehab Exercises for Rotator Cuff Injury

Our rotator cuff is made up of muscles, tendons and ligaments which hold the shoulder blade firmly with the humerus. Our shoulder joint is one of the most heavily used joint in the whole body and this place the shoulder at a high injury risk. Rotator cuff injuries can commonly happen to people who are actively in sports or use the shoulder heavily. Exercises are an integral form of treatment for someone suffering from Rotator Cuff injuries. It is also often the first form of treatment that most doctors will prescribe to patients and only when it fails will he recommend surgery.

Shoulder blade stretch

Shoulder blade stretching can be performing either standing up or in a seated position. Reach across your chest with both arms and try to hold onto the opposite shoulder blade. You should be able to feel a tight stretch at both shoulders and hold in the position for 15 seconds. Slowly return to the starting position and repeat for 3 sets of 10.

Shoulder elevation

Stand in an upright position with both arms at the side and keeping the elbows straight. Slowly lift up your arms forward to 70 degrees while ensuring that the elbows are still kept straight. Slowly return to the starting position and repeat.

Shoulder rotation

Lie down on the floor on one side of your body and use the hand on the opposite side and bend the elbows 90 degrees. Slowly rotate the shoulder in an upwards direction. You should be able to feel the pressure at the shoulder blade lessening. Continue the rotation for 3 sets of 10 and switch sides.

Bicep curls

Start off with a light weight dumbbell in your hands and slowly bring them up in an alternating manner until you feel a very tight stretch in the biceps and hold in the position for 10 seconds. Slowly return to the starting position and switch hands. Perform 3 sets of 15.

Prone Horizontal Abduction

Lie down on your stomach with your hands by the sides. Slowly extend both arms outwards in a parallel manner and until you can feel a tight strain. Hold in the position for 10 seconds and slowly return to the starting position. Repeat for 3 sets of 10.

Rehab exercises may seem boring and you will not feel motivated to perform them. However, their main purpose is to increase flexion and extension, as well as to strengthen the shoulder. Strong muscles are important if surgery is required in the future and it can help to lessen the recovery period.

Introduction to Various Shoulder Injuries

Our shoulder is a very delicate and complex component of our body that is kept together by bones, tendons and muscles. A shoulder injury is very painful and can cause a lot of discomfort and inconvenience to us. There are many different kinds of shoulder injuries and they are caused by different reasons such as strain, cyclic motion and injuries.

Rotator cuff strain

Rotator cuff strain is a common injury which is due to an inflammation of a tendon located in the shoulder. 4 muscles make up the rotator cuff namely the supraspinatus, infraspinatus, teres minor and subscapularis. The most common reason for a rotator cuff strain is because of insufficient warm up prior to the start of an activity or overload of the muscles. Poor posture and accidentally falls causing you to land on your shoulders can also cause rotator cuff strain. A strain can slowly evolve into a tear if it is left untreated. For immediate treatment, RICE is sufficient. If symptoms get worse, consult a doctor immediately.


Our shoulder joint is an unstable joint due to the functions of it. The shoulder joint can be described as a ball and socket joint and the ball is the arm bone and the socket is the shoulder blade. It is the part of our body which has the most motion compared to all other joints. It is because of this fact that causes instability to the area. Instability can get worse when the ligaments are overstretched and are unable to hold the ball and socket firmly in place. Dislocation of the shoulder joint can occur due to injuries or trauma, causing the ball to go out of the socket.


Impingement of the shoulder joint occurs when the supraspinatus, bicep tendons, bursa and subacromial are compressed over time, causing inflammation. It is due to repeated overhead usage of the shoulder joints. Activities which causes these include swimming and overhead press. To prevent impingement, you should allow adequate rest period between activities and strengthening of the rotator cuff muscles to allow it to take more load.


Our muscles are connected to the bones through connective tissues called tendons and tendonitis is an inflammation of these tendons. The tendons that are most susceptible are the biceps tendons as well as the rotator cuff muscles. Tendonitis are usually caused by overuse, pulling or over-compression of the tendons, causing pain, tenderness and discomfort. To prevent tendonitis, ensure that proper warm up of the whole body is done and add on weights gradually to allow the body to adapt to it.

Above are 4 shoulder injuries that are frequently experienced by people. Our shoulder is an integral part of our daily life and any injuries to it will cause great discomfort and inconvenience our lives. They can be easily reduced by doing proper stretching, gradually load up and sufficient rest periods between activities.