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Fox 2 Now – Dr. Lehman – Preventing (and getting relief from) rotator cuff injuries

February 7, 2017

When you hear of a rotator cuff injury you likely think of a pitcher or other pro-athlete, but that injury can happen to anyone. Dr. Rick Lehman, an orthopedic surgeon from the U.S. Center for Sports Medicine, visits Fox 2 News in the Morning to talk about getting some relief and even preventing a rotator cuff injury.

1. Maintain Full Shoulder Range of Motion

Self-assessment Range of Motion Test:
Reach one hand behind your back. Can you slide your hand upwards along your spine, to touch the bottom of your shoulder blade?
Reach one hand behind your head. Can you move it down your neck to touch between your shoulder blades?
Note any differences from one arm to the other.

Post-assessment Range of Motion Exercises:
If there is any restriction, do the towel stretch to gain flexibility:
Place a towel behind your back, with one hand holding from the top and the other hand holding from the bottom.
Try to walk your fingers together and also gently pull from either direction, into the most restricted motion.
Hold 15 to 30 seconds. Repeat 3 times.

2. Strengthen the Rotator Cuff Muscles

Do these exercises at a cable tower, starting with enough weight to fatigue at 10 to 12 repetitions:

Internal Rotation:
Stand with your lifting arm closest to the cable machine, with your elbow flexed to 90-degrees. Rotate your hand from outside to inwards, bringing your hand towards your belly.
External Rotation:
Switch positions so that your lifting arm is farthest from the cable machine. Keep your elbow bent at 90-degrees and rotate your hand outwards from your abdomen.

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