How is the recurrence of rotator cuff injuries prevented?

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

Following rotator cuff injuries, patients must pay careful attention to the use of proper mechanics during athletic activities and avoid harmful adaptations (eg, changing arm position when throwing a baseball). The nature of many overhead sports makes the athlete susceptible to injury and dysfunction because of the repetitive high-velocity stress that is required.

Athletes should maintain balanced shoulder ROM, paying particular attention to shoulder internal rotation, which can be limited by increased posterior capsular tightness. Dynamic stabilizers should be strengthened, including the rotator cuff muscles and the scapula stabilizers. This decreases demands on the static stabilizers (eg, bony structures, labrum, ligaments, capsule) and helps the athlete minimize the risk of injury. Maintaining proper trunk and lower extremity strength is also important, because these muscles generate significant force for athletes performing overhead motions and reduce stress on the shoulder girdle muscles.


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