There is an old saying, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” and when athletes are involved, truer words were never spoken. Athletes of any kind, before any major practice or competition do the same thing no matter what the sport: They warm up and stretch.
Warming up and stretching properly does several things that help prevent rotator cuff injuries. The first thing that it does is increase blood flow into the muscles and quite literally warms them up. It is similar to cranking a car in the morning and allowing it to sit for a few minutes. As the oil rises out of the pan and begins to lubricate the engine parts, there is much less a chance of damage.
In addition to warming up and stretching properly, which should be done pre and post practice or competition, the right training is necessary to prevent rotator cuff injuries in the long term. The prevention of shoulder injuries comes down to the conditioning of the shoulder muscles and tendons, which ultimately involves both stretching and strengthening of the shoulder joint.
Proper training of the muscles in the arm and shoulder build up stamina, resistance and condition the shoulder and arm for more effective use. As a muscle becomes more strong and flexible, the chance and likelihood of damage drops significantly.
If you have had a rotator cuff injury in the past or you’re just keen to prevent one, take a look at our comprehensive rotator cuff injury article for additional information. There are tips about preventing and treating shoulder pain as well as ways to speed healing and reduce further injury.
Until next time; stay healthy, keep stretching and God bless.
The Stretch Coach