Three Tips For Faster Recovery From Rotator Cuff Injuries

Tips to Recover from Rotator Cuff Injuries

By Dr. Delaine Fowler, PT DPT

Photo by Chevanon Photography from Pexels

Rotator cuff injuries and shoulder pain can cause us to avoid doing the normal activities like putting on a seat belt or reaching to get a coffee mug.  Even worse this pain and possible weakness can affect the activities we love doing like golf or playing with our kids.  This can truly affect not only our physical life but our mind, spirit, and attitude as well.

Since the shoulder is the most mobile joint in the body we use it for so many of our normal tasks.  When a rotator cuff injury slows us down it has a huge effect on our life.  However with the right help, tools, and recovery treatment plan recovery from a rotator cuff injury

The rotator cuff is made up of four muscles that help the ball and socket how the arm bone (humerus) interacts with the shoulder blade (scapula). When healthy they allow for smooth movement in all directions without pain.

Depending on whether traumatic event like a fall or lifting overhead caused the tear or through degenerative changes and the wearing down of the tendon will guide what treatment plan is the best for you.

                                                         Rotator Cuff Pain Recovery Tip 1: No sleeping on your painful shoulder. 

Circulation counts. The shoulder joint and the structures that attach to it do not have great blood flow.  When we lie on the affected side for long periods of time the blood flow, or circulation, reduces even further.  Our suggestion is to bolster yourself with pillows so you do not roll onto your affected side as much as possible.

                                                                                   Rotator Cuff Recovery Tip 2: Get Hands On Care.

The rotator cuff is the most mobile joint in the body. This means it is made up of lots of soft tissue.  What is soft tissue?  It’s your muscles, tendons, fascia, and ligaments.  People do not give these tissues enough credit.  If they are not working right, the movement patterns can get thrown off enough to cause a lot of problems in your shoulder movement.  Plus it can cause a lot of pain.  Finding a trusted professional like a hands on manual physical therapist is super important.  At Accelerate Therapy and Performance we have seen through years of practice and research our patients getting this type of care at our office do better than people not getting hands on care.

                                                                Rotator Cuff Recovery Tip 3:  Stretch your neck and shoulder muscles. 

Finding the right stretches can made a huge difference in improving circulation and restoring normal range of motion.  This is why finding the right professional advice to help you restore pain free range of motion is one of the most important steps to take.  At Accelerate Therapy and Performance our scientifically designed treatment programs can help you find the specific exercises you need to recover faster and not waste time doing things that could do no good or make you worse. 

                                                                           Rotator Cuff Recovery Tip 4: Stop pushing through the pain

For people that are proactively seeking recovery in a conservative and natural way, one of the most difficult parts may be resting enough.  Remember pain is an indicator.  Now I’m not talking about the muscle burn you get from doing multiple repetitions of an exercise. More like every time you reach overhead it hurts.  Resting and moving gently in pain free ranges can help in the recovery process.  I want to stress the less movement the shoulder joint gets the stiffer it may become.  If you have been avoiding doing the things you love for three to four weeks. It is time to get some help.

If you want a more conservative approach that does not involve medication injections or surgeries feel free to reach out to my practice at Accelerate Therapy and Performance or your trusted physical therapy provider who provides hands on manual care.

6 Easy Steps Get Your Energy Back

Six Easy Steps Get Your Energy Back

By Dr. Delaine Fowler, PT DPT


Photo by Oliver Sjöström from Pexels

Are there times where you feel like you can’t even get out of bed you are so tired, sore, or stiff?  These could be warning signs that your current routine of sitting too much in your car, or at work or even at home is wearing out your body.  Believe it or not bodies were built to move.  Sitting to too long has harmful effects on our body including slowing circulation, keeping your heart and lungs from maintaining your optimal state, and can add it chronic back, shoulder, neck, hip pain and headaches.

There is hope.  Your body is on your side.  You can start right now and your body systems will start to respond to give you more energy every day. So let’s take the plunge and get your energy back together.

Set Your Goal And Your Why

So what do you want to achieve. Write that down on a note card and make it specific. But most importantly write why.  My mom in law got in the best shape of her life after my oldest nephew turned three years old. Why? Because she could not keep up with him.  She realized if she did not get in shape this was only going to get worse.  I am so happy she did because she can run after and care for my kids like no other grandmother can! You go Mimi!

Break It Down

Does your goal seem overwhelming?  Well, things worth doing are not easy.  So break it down into the task you can do every day that are not too far away from your current norm that get you there. For instance.  If you want to wake up feeling refreshed. Maybe you give up your night time coffee and switch to decaf or tea or something that won’t keep you up late. Or you shut your screens off 30 minutes before you go to bed.  Set that as your first step for the first week or two.  After that goes well then adjust to the next step.  It’s funny how your habits change when you are focused on taking them one step at a time. You will be at your goal before you know it.

 

Move A Little More

The most optimal time to move at least every 20 to 30 minutes. If you have a desk job. Maybe look into an adjustable desk or modify your workspace to be able to have a sitting area and a standing area.

 

Drink More Water

 

Most of us do not get enough water.  There are so many great thermos like water bottles on the market how.  I have this 1 liter insulated water bottle that makes it easy to have cold refreshing water with me all day long.  I shoot to get 2 of these in a day.  Notice what happens when you drink more.  Energy rise? Maybe you need to go to the bathroom more.  This is not a bad thing.  You need to move and a bathroom break may just be what you need!

 

Daily Stretch Time

Stretching your body doesn’t just help you touch your toes better it helps you establish and maintain natural, healthy movement patterns. Taking 10 minutes once or twice a day to stretch is a great way to tell your body you love it!  At the injury prevention programs we provide for corporations the employees are encourage to stretch for 5-7 minutes at twice during their shifts and on their breaks. I have had so many employees tell me they couldn’t believe it made them feel that much better.  How simple. Just stretch!

 

Check Your Ergonomics

 

Is your workstation set up perfectly for your body? If your desk isn’t set up specifically for you it can decrease your energy and productivity.   Poor workstation setup can cause postural imbalances that might require professional help later on. If you want more information on this email me at delainePT@accelerate-pt.com.  I’ll send you a great graphic that will help you set up your workstation just right.

 

Just Walk

So every day taking even just a 10 minute gentle walk break with no cell phone or distraction can be the one thing to boost your energy today. Bodies were meant to move.  We just have to listen to them a little more and more energy will flow our way!

Are you still in pain or not moving pain-free? Give us a call. Our expert physical therapists can help identify the problem and put together a plan to get you moving and pain-free again.

Top 5 Ways To Be A Better, Stronger, Healthier You

Top 5 Ways To Be A Better, Stronger, Healthier You

Written by Dr. Delaine Fowler, PT DPT

Human optimization is the newest catch phrase among the professional health coaches and advisors these days.  But what does that really mean?  Well the good news is that optimized or healthy as I like to call it is closer than you think!  Healthy is just about having all your systems in a good shape and communicating to make you a healthier you.  The best part about it is there are simple things you can do every day that help make you better, stronger healthier you!  Check out these 5 key steps.

  1. Walking

According to health.harvard.edu walking just 21 minutes a day or 2.5 hours a week can reduce your risk of heart disease by 30%.  Walking has also shown to lower your blood pressure and your risk of diabetes and cancer.   It also has mind and brain benefits as well.  People who walk have seen improvements in mental clarity and improved mood.  Walking has even been shown to have benefits rivalling drugs taken to decrease depression.  Now that’s a magic pill I want!

 

  1. Better Sleep

Getting enough sleep is not only key to health but also happiness according to Moran Cerf.  The neuroscientist from the Kellogg School of Management explains according to research sleep is the thing that happier people do better than anyone.  Not that they sleep more but they just sleep better.  They get the key types of sleep to help the brain recharge.  How does one do this?  Setting a routine for sleep as well as doing things to calm your mind. For instance cutting out screen time two hours before bed and not consuming products that could keep you awake or wake you up at night could help you be more rested and happier.

  1. Breathing

There are so many benefits to doing what keeps us alive.  Deep breathing can calm the mind reduces stress and energize the body.  Taking just a few minutes in the morning, and every few hours thereafter to breathe fully as if you are trying to fill your body all the way to your toes with fresh oxygen can really recharge your body and your mind.  Think about it. Without the breath there is no life.

 

  1. Hydrate

The human adult body is water is made up of 60% water.  The brain and heart are made up of 83% water according to HH Mitchell, Journal of Biological Chemistry 158.  Most men need about 3 liters of water per day and most women need about 2.2 liters of water per day to carry out our vital functions and remain hydrated.   Water does so many important things. It helps build cells, regulates our internal temperature through sweating and respiration, transports nutrients throughout our system and so many more important tasks.  Just a two to five percent loss in water can put us in a dehydrated state enough to affect our mental clarity and bodily functions. You likely end up in the hospital with a loss of 11% or more of you water content.

 

  1. Fueling with Real Food.

Food is what we fuel our system with.  I think of it like fuel in my car.  When I put the premium stuff in my car it does run just a little different.  The cleaner fuel helps my car run better.  Same with food.  Good health food in results in an optimized system.  Junk food in and you can feel sluggish and fatigued before you should.  Substituting just a few junk food items for healthy food could help optimize your system even more.

There are so many ways to be a healthier person.  The five items above are not an exhaustive list but in my book super important to living a more optimal human experience every day.

I would love to hear from you.  What other things do you do every day to keep yourself healthy?  Email me at delainePT@accelerate-pt.com or add a comment onto our Facebook Page @AccelerateTherapyandPerformance

 

References:

https://www.health.harvard.edu/exercise-and-fitness/walking-for-health

https://www.inc.com/chris-denson/a-neuroscientist-reveals-5-things-you-need-to-know-about-your-brain.html

https://water.usgs.gov/edu/propertyyou.html

http://www.system-safety.com/articles/Dehydration.htm