What is the role of proprioceptive training in the recovery phase of rotator cuff treatment?

Updated: Oct 25, 2018
  • Author: Gerard A Malanga, MD; Chief Editor: Craig C Young, MD  more...
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Answer

Proprioceptive training is important to retrain neurologic control of the strengthened muscles, providing improved dynamic interaction and coupled execution of tasks for harmonious movement of the shoulder and arm. Begin tasks with closed kinetic chain exercises to provide joint stabilizing forces. Then, as the muscles become reeducated, one can progress to open chain activities, which may be used in sports or tasks.

Capsuloligamentous structures contain sensory afferents, which respond to motion and changes in joint position, whereas musculotendinous structures sense muscle length and tension. Injury can affect these afferents, which require retraining much like restrengthening the muscles. In addition, proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF) is designed to stimulate muscle/tendon stretch receptors for reeducation. In a 1965 report, Kabat described shoulder PNF techniques in detail. [28]


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