Thursday, December 29, 2005

Rotator Cuff

The rotator cuff is a group of four muscles that helps to lift your shoulders over your head and rotate it toward and away from your body. The muscles are the infraspinaturs, supraspinatus, subscapularis and teres major. Baseball pitchers use these muscles a lot. They are frequently injured by tears, tendonitis, impingement, bursitis and strains.

Shoulder bursitis and rotator cuff tendonitis refer to an inflammation of a particular area within the shoulder joint that is causing a common set of symptoms. They can also be called "impingement syndrome", which indicates an inflammation of the rotator cuff tendons and the bursa that surrounds these tendons. Several bones, muscles, and ligaments contribute to the complex shoulder joint. This increases the chances of injury.

Impingement syndrome occurs when there is inflammation between the top of the humerus or arm bone and the acromion or tip of the shoulder. The tendons of the rotator cuff lie between these bones. In healthy situations, these tendons slide effortlessly within this space. Due to genetics or other factors, the space can become too narrow for normal motion, and the bursa and tendons become inflamed. They thicken and contribute further to the narrowness of the space. The bones rub against each other.

Rotator cuff muscle exercises are often overlooked. A common exercise is often done in grammar school gym classes: arm circles. Have your legs shoulder-width apart and your knees slightly bent. You can do these in the air or against a wall. You can do four sets often small or large circles, in each direction, with each arm. If you do small circles one week, do big circles another week. Do the circles slowly, with a steady posture. Do four sets often repetitions with each arm in each direction (moving frontward and backward).

You can also use a rotator cuff machine at the gym. Ask a personal trainer where it is. Have your legs shoulder-width apart and your knees slightly bent. Make sure that your arms, shoulder and back are steady. Just concentrate on moving your rotator cuff muscles. Do four sets often repetitions.

You probably need to work out rotator cuff muscles once every two weeks. Too much working out of these muscles can lead to injury.

You can see four more rotator cuff exercises at htt;://

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Some information for this blog was obtained from http://www.aafp/prg/afp/20030315/1315ph.html and cuff.html
Accessed on December 29, 2005

Disclaimer: information on this blog is posted for information purposes, not as a substitute for professional medical advice.

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