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Rotator Cuff Tear - Recommended Exercises

Correct Posture
 
Good posture should not feel like hard work.  Imagine a balloon filled with helium is attached to your head and is pulling you up (Balloon Posture).  You should feel your back straighten and your chest widen.  Pull your shoulder blades back and down.  This increases the space under your subacromial arch, giving the rotator cuff tendons more space which is good for your shoulder. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Key Points When Doing Exercises
 
  • The following exercises should be within the limits of pain.
  • When you start you may find that you can only move a small distance without pain, but this will improve.  Do not be tempted to push through the pain.
  • Repeat the exercise 4 times a day.
  • The number of repetitions that are recommended is what you should aim for.  If you find them hard to do or can only move a little way aim to build up to the total number of repetitions over a few days or even a couple of weeks.
  • It is recommended you have a day off the exercise every fourth day. 
 
 
 
Exercise 1 - Isometric Exercises
 
These are good exercises to start with if the shoulder is very painful.  Stand with a rolled up towel between your elbow and the side of the unstable shoulder.  These are static exercises.  There should be no movement during these exercises.
 
 
1. Abduction  -  Place your opposite hand on the outside of the affected elbow.  Keep the arm still and push the elbow outwards into your hand.  Use the good hand to resist the movement.  Hold this position for 10 seconds.  Target Repetitions = 10
 
2. Lateral Rotation  -  Place the opposite hand on the outside of the affected hand.  Keep the arm still and push the hand outwards into your good hand, which should resist the movement.  Hold this position for 10 seconds.  Target Repetitions = 10
 
3. Medial Rotation  -  Place the opposite hand against the palm of your affected hand.  Keep the arm still and push the hands together.  Hold this position for 10 seconds.  Target Repetitions = 10
 
 
 
 
 

presented by Urmston Physio Clinic

 

presented by Urmston Physio Clinic

 

presented by Urmston Physio Clinic

 
 
 
 
 Exercise 2 - Theraband (Lateral Rotation)
 

Hold a ‘Theraband’ in both hands with your elbows bent at 90 degrees.  Remember your ‘Balloon Posture’ during this exercise.  Keep your elbows by your side and slowly take your affected hand away from your body, then return to the starting position slowly.  Use your good arm to resist the movement of your affected arm.

 

Target Repetitions = 15

 

 

presented by Urmston Physio Clinic

 
 
 
 
Exercise 3 - Side Wall Slides 
 
Stand with a sock or cloth over your hand and with your sore shoulder side on to the wall.  With a bent elbow put the back of your hand in contact with the wall.  Remember to maintain a 'Balloon Posture' with your shoulder blades pulled back and down.
 
Step forward and push your arm up straight, sliding the back of your hand up the wall.  Your hand should be outside  your shoulder.  This must not hurt.  Only move as far as you can without pain.
 
Target Repetitions = 15
 
 

presented by Urmston Physio Clinic

 
 
 
 
Exercise 4 - Wall Slides
 
Find a smooth wall and a cloth that will slide easily on the surface.  This exercise also works if you put a sock on your hands.  Stand facing the wall with the palms of your hands in contact with the wall. 
 
Think 'Balloon Posture' with your shoulder blades pulled back and down.  Gently push into the wall and slide your hands upwards.  This must not hurt.  Relax and return to the start position.  You should be gently pushing against the wall through the full movement.
 
Target Repetitions = 15
 
 
 

presented by Urmston Physio Clinic