Rehab (1) Shoulder Impingement Syndrome: Rotator Cuff Strengthening
So I have some impingement in my shoulder, what can I do to get back to normal?
Rehab for impingement syndrome should have a heavy focus in two areas:
- Rotator cuff & scapular muscle strengthening
- Stabilization exercises
Strengthening the rotator cuff muscles allows for a proper fit of the humeral head against the labrum of the shoulder. Without proper strength in these muscles, the humeral head loses its stabilization & can cause problems such as impingement syndrome. Scapular strengthening is extremely important as well considering that above 90 degrees of flexion or abduction of the shoulder, in relation to the thorax, is accomplished by a combination of shoulder & scapular movements. Therefore, scapular strengthening is just as important as rotator cuff strengthening for overhead athletes.
Our favorite exercises for rotator cuff strengthening are internal & external rotation with the arm abducted to 90 degrees. This position isolates the rotator cuff muscles & can be done with weights. However, with resistance bands the shoulder is unloaded from not having to bear the additional force of gravity.
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