Rotator Cuff Rehab with Pilates

Pilates, Blog, Shoulder, / By Koh Peh Chia

Have you or someone you know been diagnosed with a Rotator Cuff Injury? Doctors may have advised you to start rotator cuff rehab or physiotherapy to strengthen your shoulders. So what does this mean and how can Pilates help?  In this article, we will reveal the importance of Rotator Cuff Rehab with Pilates.

What is Rotator Cuff?

The rotator cuff is made up of a group of muscles and tendons that attach your arm bone (humerus) to your shoulder blade (scapula). These muscles include the supraspinatus, infraspinatus, teres minor, and subscapularis. Their function is to facilitate the stability of the shoulder girdle while moving the arm firmly in the shoulder joint in different directions.

What is Rotator Cuff Injury?

Rotator cuff injuries may come from many factors:

  • Repetitive stress (from playing sports, lifting heavy objects repeatedly, trauma) 
  • Poor posture (forward head posture, rounded shoulder and other poor upper back and shoulders alignment can put strain on the shoulder joint.)

Symptoms of Rotator Cuff Injury:

  • Pain on the front or tip of the shoulder when reaching overhead (such as combing hair, reaching behind your back)
  • Pain when sleeping on the affected side
  • Loss of range of movement 
  • Muscle weakness. 

It is important to seek help from a doctor or physiotherapist if you have experienced pain associated with any shoulder movement limitation. Once the symptoms have subsided, then you can begin to stabilize and strengthen the Rotator Cuff back to optimal level with Pilates. Through Pilates–a controlled movement workout program, you can learn to effectively use these muscles correctly, reducing stress on the shoulder joint and rotator cuff and return to your normal functional activities.

Why Pilates with Rotator Cuff Injury?

Rehab Pilates is the excellent choice if you think of giving Pilates a try. This targeted rehabilitative type of Pilates which is conducted by trained Rehab Pilates instructors can safely teach you the exercises throughout your Rotator Cuff Rehab.

Adding Rehab Clinical Pilates into your rehabilitation or exercise plan will boost up your recovery speed and performance. It is because it helps you focus on scapular stabilizer strengthening and normalizing the unwanted movement patterns from the shoulder. It focuses our body as a whole thus it will increase your body awareness to reduce the recurrence of injury in the future. 

Rehab Pilates For Rotator Cuff Rehab

Arm Circle

  1. Inhale reach arms toward ceiling and overhead, only as far as abdominal connection, scapular stabilization and contact between lower posterior ribs and mat can be maintained.
  2. Exhale circle arms out to sides and around to hips.

Complete 3–5 repetitions, then reverse direction for 3–5 repetitions.

Arm Work: External Rotation

  1. Lie on one side and support your head with your hand. Hold a dumbbell in your opposite hand, with your elbow bent at 90 degrees at your side. Hold the dumbbell in front of your stomach.
  2. Raise the dumbbell by rotating your upper arm in a sweeping arch motion. Keep your elbow close to your torso. Pause when you are no longer able to rotate your shoulder without moving your elbow. Return the weight to the starting position.

We hope this article is helpful for you.  If you have any doubt feel free to contact us for telephysio or appointment booking for physiotherapy or Pilates session. Also, check out our instagram page for more useful tips and videos.