How to Protect Your Rotator Cuff from Repetitive Use Injuries

With its wide and versatile range of motion, the shoulder plays an essential role in the movement and function of your upper body. Some people can go their entire lives without a shoulder injury, but many athletes and physical workers suffer from rotator cuff injuries after years of repetitive use.

The movements required for daily living make this pain even worse. Tendinitis and bursitis are the two most common repetitive motion injuries that affect the rotator cuff. If you want to maintain the ability to scrub the floor, throw a ball, or take a shower without pain, these techniques will help you protect your body.

What Is the Rotator Cuff?

The rotator cuff is a collection of four muscles that unite as tendons, and it is responsible for keeping the arm securely in the shoulder socket. When the rotator cuff functions properly, it helps to lift and rotate the arm without any pain or discomfort. Rotator cuff tears are common gradual degeneration and can be identified by pain and weakness when lifting and lowering the arm.

How Are Tendinitis and Bursitis Different?

Tendinitis and Bursitis are common orthopedic conditions that lead to inflammation and degeneration around the muscles and bones of the shoulder, elbow, wrist, hip, knee, or ankle. Tendonitis impacts tendons, the flexible rope-like bands that connect muscle to bone, while bursitis involves the bursting of a bursa, a fluid-filled structure situated where tendons pass over bones to prevent uncomfortable friction. Since inflammation doesn’t have specific boundaries, it is common for a tendon and bursa to become inflamed at the same time.

Preventing Repetitive Use Injuries

Tendinitis and bursitis both involve similar prevention methods. For athletes, adequate warm-up and cool-down are essential to support proper tendon and bursae health. Beyond just warming up, you can also practice range-of-motion exercises that support increase in function to your rotator cuff. Your best line of defense is to work with a shoulder expert who can evaluate your shoulder condition and recommend a physical therapy or training plan to enhance your range of motion and diminish pain.

With the right medical support, you don’t need to cringe every time you reach to get cereal down from the shelf. Call Suncoast Orthopaedic Surgery & Sports Medicine in Sarasota County at (941) 485-1505 to schedule an appointment now for the help you need.