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Top 3 movements for rotator cuff injuries

Rotator cuff tears* are unique to the individual. Most of the time, imaging is not required since it will not change the approach to treatment. Figuring out what arm motions or directions you can perform without pain is usually the first step to rehab the shoulder. These three movements are ones that I will continuously reintroduce to patients as they heal because they are integral to strengthening and aligning the shoulder joint.

These exercises are demonstrated and listed in order from most likely able to perform after injury to ones that might need some time to “unlock.” 1. External rotation: Isometric → Banded 2. Low Row: Bodyweight (TRX or Ring rows) → Resistance Band → Weights 3. Hanging from a bar: Banded Hold → Supported Hang → Static Hang

* It is advised to have your injury evaluated by a professional to find out the severity of the problem. Only perform these movements if there is no pinching pain during these exercises. Another red flag is your shoulder throbbing or being noticeably more sore after the exercise. Some soreness is okay to work through but this should NOT increase your pain after performing.

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