When you are suffering from a rotator cuff tear your Doctor will usually recommend conservative (non-surgical) treatment options first to encourage natural healing of your injury. Some of the non-surgical treatments recommended will include exercise to deal with any weakness or stiffness in your shoulder joint. Exercise is also a good way to deal with scar tissue and maintain healthy blood flow in the joint. Please be advised that if you are suffering or recovering from a rotator cuff injury, please consult a physician or physical therapist before starting shoulder stretches or exercises.
Stretching is an important part of any injury recovery process. Stretching has been known to aid in the increase of healthy blood flow circulation, flexibility, and range of motion - all of which help to decrease your pain and speed up in the natural healing process of your soft tissue.
When you stretch and hold a stretch, the action of stretching lengthens your muscles, tendons and ligaments. Movement of any kind is an essential part of recovery from a torn rotator cuff injury, rehabilitation after rotator cuff tear surgery, or managing on-going shoulder pain from injury, re-injury or degenerative conditions (like arthritis and osteoarthritis).
There are a lot of misconceptions about stretching - like how to stretch, when to stretch and how long to hold the stretch. In some ways, your stretching can be completely ineffective if you aren't following some very basic guidelines during your stretch. Improper stretching can also lead to more pain, re-injury or even more tearing in your rotator cuff.
Stretching is certainly a vital part to recovery, but the idea that "any stretching is good stretching" is completely wrong. If you aren't going to take the time to stretch properly, speak to your doctor, meet with a physical therapist, learn what stretches will help your condition and the techniques to properly stretch then you aren't involved enough in your own injury recovery process.
or.. to put another way..
It is highly advisable that you ask yourself the questions listed above in order to determine if your stretch routine is actually helping your rotator cuff tear recovery process. It is such attention to detail that help ensure your rotator cuff exercises will have a long-lasting positive impact on your recovery process.
One of the most common mistakes people make when stretching is thinking that you're supposed to stretch before initiating activity. If you're active in any way (a runner, an athlete, a weekend warrior, a gym rat) then you might not know about "cold" stretching and may be doing this every time before your workouts.
"Cold" stretching is basically doing static (non-moving) stretches before getting active; some believe that stretching before activity will loosen up muscles, warm up soft tissue and get your blood moving. However, everything you may have thought about this is wrong - stretching right away (without a proper warm up) can actually decrease your strength, power and performance. (reference: 1) Some studies have found that static stretching without a proper warm up will actually decrease muscle strength by 30%. Your soft tissue may even stay in a weakened state for 30 minutes after your stretching. (reference: 1).
Static stretching can also be harmful to your body if you aren't warming up properly first. Doing static stretching on "cold" soft tissue (that has not had a chance to warm up) will be forcing your tissue (muscles, tendons) to lengthen and extend - if you are already dealing with a strain, spasm or tear this will tighten the injured tissue further, substantially increasing your risk of making the injury worse. Now it's obvious to see why for these reasons you should be properly warming up your shoulder before stretching - and the best way to do that is to increase blood circulation. Increased blood circulation means an increase in oxygen intake to your muscles, tendons and ligaments.
Ensuring you don't "cold stretch" is key. Before stretching, exercise (or any movements that you expect to aggravate your shoulder) apply the Shoulder T•Shellz Wrap®. Use of the Shoulder T•Shellz Wrap® will increase blood flow in the shoulder while gently warming your soft tissue. This warming of soft tissue increases elasticity and flexbility of the shoulder, decreasing the risk of shoulder strain while undergoing exercise or stretching. Your hard work will help prevent build up of more scar tissue and allow your shoulder to heal more quickly. Once you start doing this you will regain more range of motion, be more pain free and life will return to normal more quickly for you.
The T•Shellz Wraps® are FDA Registered treatment tools that warm up soft tissue in the rotator cuff. It is a known fact* that soft tissue increases in flexibility and length when warmed. During exercise, longer and more flexibile soft tissue (muscles, tendons) are less likely to strain.
* Chapter 9 of "Therapeutic Heat and Cold", 4th edition. (amazon.com link - Ed. Justus F. Lehmann, M.D., Williams, and Wilkin)
Moving or bouncing your arm while stretching in a static (unmoving) pose can actually do you more harm than good. Bouncing into stretches can cause tearing in your rotator cuff (muscles, tendons, ligaments) that will lead to the growth of more scar tissue in your shoulder. This scar tissue will further tighten the area making any movement or activity even harder.
It's important that you keep a still position when stretching a shoulder injury to make sure that the stretch is benefiting your injury instead of making it worse.
Holding your stretch for 30 to 60 seconds is important to actually gain benefit from the stretch being performed. Stretching for less than 30 seconds will not provide a difference in flexibility or lengthening of soft tissue in your rotator cuff (muscle, tendon, and ligament fibers). Stretching for more than 60 seconds can tighten and stiffen your rotator cuff because you're leaving your tissue in a fully contracted or extended position which will result in lack of circulation in your shoulder.
Rotating or raising your arm too far into a stretch can also be harmful to your recovery process. If you feel pain at all when stretching you are most likely going too deep into the stretch and attempting to extend your rotator cuff too far. In some cases, your shoulder might start to fight against your stretch, which is a natural muscle response.
Muscles have memory and they know the range of motion that's safe for you to go into and hold a stretch. If you try to stretch beyond that natural range of motion your muscles will try to stop the stretch and push back against your efforts.
Stretching is intended to put low level stress on your muscles/tendons/ligaments (soft tissue); this stress introduces tiny "micro-tears" in your soft tissue which is necessary and healthy for maintaining strength, flexibility and length (prevention of atrophy). However, these micro tears cause minor swelling and this swelling reduces the flow of blood in the area. For these micro tears to heal quickly, you need increased blood flow circulation in the area to provide nutrients and oxygen for your soft tissue to heal as well as remove toxins (such as lactic acid which builds up as muscle tissue is strained). This is when a proper "cool down" is essential to make sure that your soft tissue is adequately supplied with blood flow.
The simplest "cool down" is basically just moving the limbs that you stretched earlier - but not intensely or under strain. You most likely witnessed a simple "cool down" if you have watched a horse race. Once the horse has crossed the finish line, the jockey continues to run the horse - albeit at a slower pace that gradually declines over time. This allows the horses muscles to continue flexing, albeit not under any strain. It is the flexing of these muscles that propel the flow of blood to continue into (and out of) the leg muscles - effectively keeping the flow of blood high so the horses muscles can get the blood they need to recover from the strain of the race. Cool downs can also involve the application of a Cold Compress or Ice Pack after the stretching is over. Note that recently strained muscles will swell, and swelling pinches off blood flow. So, to get blood flowing you can apply a cold pack to reduce muscle swelling (which will help open up blood vessels) but just don't do it for too long as cold compression itself will also reduce blood flow. Cold applied at this time nips swelling or inflammation in the bud so you won't feel the pain and swelling that usually comes with new tissue damage.
Stretching can only do so much to help you recover from your rotator cuff tear. If you're attending physical therapy appointments then you'll soon see that physical therapy only gives you a small amount of time (a few weeks) to recover from your torn rotator cuff injury. Even if you have surgery, you'll only get a few weeks of physical therapy for post-op rehabilitation. It's important that you understand that a short time at physical therapy with on-going rotator cuff stretching under the guidance of a medical professional can be helpful, but it's merely the beginning of your journey.
Stretching is important, but what should you be doing to make sure that your stretching is having a lasting impact on the recovery of your rotator cuff tear?
For most people suffering from a rotator cuff tear, exercise is only the beginning. In order to fully recover you need to augment your rotator cuff tear recovery with conservative treatment methods done at home on a daily basis. Continuous movement and stretching is the only way to regain range of motion in your shoulder and prevent atrophy (wasting away) of your deltoid, bicep, tricep and forearm muscles. What truly makes a difference to your overall rotator cuff injury recovery and rate of healing is your commitment to a long term recovery plan that includes regular stretching and use of conservative treatment tools at home.
Ask any doctor or physical therapist and they'll tell you that the success of your rotator cuff tear recovery and/or surgery depends on your level of dedication to regular at home care of your shoulder injury.
The best way to add to your exercising at home (and any stretching under the guidance of a medical professional) is use of conservative treatment tools that will help you to "warm up" and "cool down" your tissue. This requires an increase in blood flow before stretching and a decrease in any pain and swelling after stretching.
The only way to increase blood flow on your own is through cardio, aerobic activity, or continuous movement. This might sound easy to do before your injury, but can be difficult to achieve when you've torn your rotator cuff. So what do you do when you need to warm up your tissue before exercise but you can't move your injury?
This is where use of conservative treatment tools, like a Shoulder T•Shellz Wrap®, can boost your blood flow without having to move your already injured rotator cuff. A Shoulder T•Shellz Wrap® will provide Circulation Boost that increases the elastic nature of your soft tissue. After stretching, effective cold compression with a Shoulder Cold Compress or Ice Pack will focus blood flow circulation in and around your rotator cuff while dealing with any new tissue damage caused by your stretching. Cold compression during your "cool down" will also naturally relieve pain and swelling caused by stretching (especially if you have over-stretched or deepened the stretch too much).
Most of our clients have treated themselves successfully through regular use of our AidMyRotatorCuff home therapy products - the Shoulder T•Shellz Wrap® and Arnica Infusion Pain Relief Cream. Our clients will even combine these therapeutic treatments with the rehabilitation plan recommended by their doctor, surgeon or physical therapist.
Using these therapies (on a regular basis, as suggested in the product instructions and under the guidance of your doctor) will boost the effectiveness of your stretching (providing long-lasting benefits), and lessen the chance and/or severity of joint degeneration, muscular atrophy, re-injury or other shoulder pain during your recovery process.
Circulatory Boost treatments work best to increase blood flow circulation and relieve pain for older (chronic) injuries, re-injuries (after swelling has been reduced) and during long-term post surgery recovery.
A T•Shellz Wrap® should not be used directly after an injury, as you must wait for swelling to drop. T•Shellz Wrap® treatments should not be started for a least 6 weeks (and only after approval from your surgeon) after surgery because inflammation levels will be very high as the healing process starts over again. Any use of a T•Shellz Wrap® should also be combined with gradual movement to stretch out the shoulder and increase range of motion.
If you have a chronic shoulder injury that keeps getting re-injured you should use a Shoulder TShellz Wrap before activity to loosen up your tissue (making it more flexible). This treatment is shown to increase the elasticity (flexibility) of the soft tissue in and around the treatment area, making it more pliable for activity and less likely to re-injure.
Sometimes we feel pain while doing a certain activity - should you still use Circulatory Boost? Using a TShellz Wrap in the morning before you start your day or before activity can help to boost blood-flow and reduce risk of further strain or injury. Use cold part-way through your day after you have been active so you can decrease pain and inflammation from the flare up.
Using a Shoulder T•Shellz Wrap® is a good long-term plan because it will help stimulate healing and can also be used on a preventive basis to relax constricted soft tissue. Circulatory Boost enhances the local blood circulatory system, increasing the flow of nutrients your tissue needs to heal - oxygen, nutrients, anti-bodies and energy.
If you think you might require shoulder surgery click here.
If you have undergone shoulder surgery and are looking for rehabilitation information, click here.
Increasing flexibility and strength in the shoulder is a key component to speed healing and avoid re-injury.
Even when you're injured and in pain you need to keep moving to break-up scar tissue that's forming in your tendons and ligaments in your shoulder.
Moving when you're injured is hard. Since moving while injured can be painful most people think it's better to stop moving, rest their shoulder and hope that their shoulder injury will heal all on its' own. Even though rest is important to recovery, too much rest during the recovery process will increase the amount of scar tissue in your shoulder.
During the healing process your body will fill in soft tissue tears with dense, brittle tissue called "scar tissue". The human body will use scar tissue as a temporary solution and will try to build the scar tissue as fast as possible to heal a tear in the soft tissue. Scar tissue can form fast to bring together the edges of a tear, but working fast doesn't mean that the job's done right. When scar tissue forms it doesn't come together as neatly as regular (healthy) tendon/ligament tissue would. Scar tissue fibers will lay down over top of your tear in a cluttered, messy and jumbled up way.
Shoulder Joint Atrophy is arguably a bigger issue than scar tissue. Whether you have a shoulder injury or have recently had a shoulder operation, you will find that the joint has a more limited range of motion than you had before. In most cases, this is due to atrophy - the shortening of connective tissue in the shoulder due to inactivity. In cases where atrophy exists, it is very important to stretch and do gentle exercise to nip this problem in the bud before it becomes a chronic (long-lasting) issue. If you are currently recovering from a shoulder injury speak with your physician about stretches and exercise.
When done properly under recommendation of a physician, shoulder stretches have a proven track record of assisting in the speedy recovery of many patients. This is without doubt, the third and final essential tool for complete shoulder injury recovery. Once a patient deals with the swelling and inflammation through use of a Cold Compress or Ice Pack, then begins the Circulatory Boost process by using home treatments with the TShellz Wrap, all the while keeping rested to keep stress off the injury. Once the injury has healed, it is time to take the third and final step to recovery by beginning a shoulder rehabilitation stretching regimen.
If you want to avoid re-injury, or manage pain and increase circulation for lifelong health benefits a Shoulder TShellz Wrap will provide the results you are looking for.
Why spend time in pain, off from work, and missing out on your active lifestyle when you can be proactive about your injury and the health of your body? Talk to your doctor about incorporating a regular routine of using Circulation Boost.
If you are suffering through a rotator cuff injury, we strongly believe that we can help you, and we have thousands of happy clients to back this claim. You are welcome to try our products for a 60 day period.. If you are committed to following the treatments outlined in the product instructions we are very confident that our TShellz Wraps will aid you immensely. If you do not receive the benefits that countless of our other customers have experienced from our products, call us, mail the product back to us and we will provide you with a full product refund.
Living with pain is never easy as it affects your entire lifestyle. Living with pain during or after an intensive surgery and lengthy rehabilitation period can be even harder! What is more important than taking your best shot at trying to heal your shoulder before signing up for surgery?
Doctors and Surgeons are always improving the technologies used in surgery, and results from surgery now are much more positive than they were in the past. However, all surgeries introduce scar tissue, and recovery from shoulder surgery is often disappointing. If you do wind up getting surgery, know that rehabilitation at-home while attending regular physical therapy or doctor appointments is vital for your overall recovery. It is especially vital to the shoulder and knee areas, as they consistently handle extreme forces (body weight). Consistent exercise and conservative treatment on a daily basis during your rehabilitation while working with your doctor, surgeon or physical therapist is key - and this is why you should seriously consider maximizing your recovery by using the Shoulder T•Shellz Wrap® at home once you are approved for physical therapy.
AidMyRotatorCuff.com stands out in this regard as our goal is to help you keep your shoulder healthy for the long-term in a cost effective manner. This might mean healing your shoulder without needing surgery. If you couldn't avoid surgery, then our tools can also help you recover from surgery more quickly and completely..
We strongly believe that we can help you, and we have thousands of happy clients to back this claim. You are welcome to try our products for a 60 day period.. If you are committed to following the treatments outlined in the product instructions we are very confident that our TShellz Wraps will aid you immensely. If you do not receive the benefits that countless of our other customers have experienced from our products, call us, mail the product back to us and we will provide you with a full product refund.
Call one of our AidMyRotatorCuff Advisers at no cost or obligation to address any lingering questions you have about our rotator cuff solution - toll free 1-866-237-9608. You can also place an order with us over the phone.
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Living with pain is never easy and we encourage you to call us if you have questions about our products. We will do our best to help.
Please be aware that this information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider before using any of our outstanding products to make sure they're right for you and your condition or if you have any questions regarding a medical condition. Always see your doctor for a proper diagnosis as there are often many injuries and conditions (some very serious) that could be the cause of your pain.
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