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Tendinopathies Explained - Four Exercises to Assist with Early Stages of Rotator Cuff Tendinopathy

Tendinopathies Explained - Four Exercises to Assist with Early Stages of Rotator Cuff Tendinopathy

Written by Jessica Mazurek - Clinical Myotherapist and Remedial Massage Therapist | 15th July 2020

A lot of us have been in this situation – you play a game of basketball or golf for the first time in years or have just started back at the gym and were maybe a little too optimistic and lifted heavier weights or ran further than what you are used to. You feel okay initially but wake up the next morning feeling incredibly sore and certain everyday movements suddenly become difficult. You may be experiencing what is called a Tendinopathy.

What is a Tendinopathy?

Tendinopathies or tendinopathy injuries are typically caused by the overuse or overloading of a tendon. The more common term you may have heard is ‘Tendonitis’, meaning inflammation of the tendon, however, this term has now changed as research has shown that inflammation is no longer associated with an overuse injury of a tendon.

Tendons are strong rope-like tissues containing collagen protein and are the structures that connect muscle to bone and assist in creating movement in our body by sending the forces that our muscles exert to our bones. Whilst a tendinopathy can affect any tendon, these are the most commonly affected along with rotator cuff tendons and hamstring tendons.

How do Tendinopathies Occur and How are They Treated?

Basically put, when the capacity of our tendons is too low to handle the load that is placed on them during certain exercises or movements, the tendon becomes overloaded. Some people may find that they are able to continue training during the early stages of a tendinopathy, however, can become quite severe in the later stages and cause people to stop movement altogether to avoid pain. Physical and exercise therapy that involves gradually re-loading the tendon to increase capacity whilst rebuilding strength is considered to be the best treatment method for tendinopathy injuries.

Four Exercises to Assist with Early Stages of Rotator Cuff Tendinopathy Pain

1. Wall Resisted Shoulder Abduction

Tendinopathy Exercise 1

Position yourself next to a wall with the affected forearm and wrist against the wall. Aim to ‘lift’ your arm up with the pressure coming from your wrist and forearm. Hold this position for 10 seconds and repeat 10 times.

2. Wall Resisted Shoulder External Rotation

Tendinopathy Exercise 2

In the same position as the previous exercise, but with your elbow bent, aim to push the back of your hand into the wall whilst keeping your shoulder still. Hold resisted position for 10 seconds and repeat 10 times.

3. Shoulder Flexion with Foam Roller

Tendinopathy Exercise 3

Secure the foam roller with your forearms against the wall. Slowly move the foam roller up the wall until you can get your arms straight. It is important to keep this movement slow and controlled up and down the wall and to only go to a position that doesn’t cause abnormal pain. Repeat 20 times.

4. Towel Assisted Shoulder Internal Rotation Stretch

Tendinopathy Exercise 4

Begin in the starting position with the towel behind your back. Keeping the affected arm relaxed, use the other arm to gently pull the towel away from your side to move the affected arm across your low back. Hold your end position for 10 seconds before returning to starting position. Repeat 10 times.

If you would like support regarding your tendinopathy injury, the team at Canterbury Health Hub are here to support you. Book an appointment online today.

This article is for information purposes only. Please consult your CHH primary healthcare professional for further information.

Tags: Tendinopathy