Rotator Cuff Therapy Exercises

Physical Therapy for Rotator Cuff


Exactly how does any form of physical therapy for rotator cuff muscles increase your rotator cuff strength?

If you have read elsewhere on the site the importance of exercise for rotator cuff problems, you are probably a little interested in how it all works?

Perhaps you have suffered a rotator cuff strain or been advised to undergo physical therapy for rotator cuff pain or some form of torn rotator cuff rehab. If so then I hope I can help.

Like you I used to suffer with rotator cuff pain but no longer. I discovered the importance of physical therapy for rotator cuff pain, have improved my rotator cuff strength and am now pain free.

I hope you find this information not only interesting but more importantly useful. In the previous section titled "Rotator cuff muscle exercises improve the health of your rotator cuff" I discussed the various different muscle types. Let us examine exactly how we use this information to our benefit.

Concious control

Even though most skeletal muscle is a mixture of different types of skeletal muscle fibre, all the skeletal muscle fibres within any one motor unit are always all the same.

In addition, the different skeletal muscle fibres in a muscle may be used in various ways, depending on need.

For example, if only a weak contraction is needed to perform a task, only type I fibres are activated by their motor units. If a large contraction is required, motor units of type II B fibres are activated as well. Activation of various motor units is determined in the brain and spinal cord.

Although this muscle action is referred to as being under "conscious control", it is not really. We can not actually think about which muscle fibres will be employed on any task. The brain and the spinal cord determine this for us without the need for us to actually do anything.

Muscle training

Although the number of the different skeletal muscle fibres does not change, the characteristics of those present can be altered. This is the key point to remember when thinking about the positive effects that physical therapy for rotator cuff muscles can have.

rotator cuff muscle tissue

Skeletal muscle x 200 magnification



The fast muscle (type IIA) moves 5 times faster than the slow muscle (type I) and the super-fast (type IIB) moves 10 times faster than the slow muscle fibre.

The average person has approximately 50% fast muscle fibre and 50% slow-twitch fibre (type I). There can be swings in fibre composition, but essentially, we all have different types of muscle fibre that can be trained.

So how do we go about altering the muscle fibres and how can this be used within the rotator cuff muscle group. Firstly it is important to say that doing any rotator cuff muscle exercises is preferable to doing nothing.

Various types of exercises can bring about changes in the fibres within any skeletal muscle. Endurance type exercises, such as running or swimming, cause a gradual transformation fibres.

The transformed muscle fibres show a slight increase in diameter, mitochondria, blood capillaries, and strength.

Endurance exercises result in cardiovascular and respiratory changes in the body. These changes allow skeletal muscles to receive better supplies of oxygen and carbohydrates. Despite these improvements endurance exercises do not contribute to muscle mass.

On the other hand, exercises that require great strength for short periods, such as weight lifting, produce an increase in the size and strength of type II B fibres. The increase in size is due to increased synthesis of thin and thick myofilaments. The overall result is that the person develops larger muscles.

The overall effect of any exercise is to improve muscle strength, size and performance. Physical therapy for rotator cuff muscles is no different; if you want to heal your own rotator cuff strain symptoms then exercise is important.

Any general exercise that improves your overall fitness levels will aid in this process. That is a start but specific exercises for the physical therapy for rotator cuff muscles are vital if you are to significantly improve your rotator cuff strength. It really is quite incredible what your own body is capable of.

I have included the image below just simply to emphasise this point - look what some people acheive. I do not advocate anyone having to go to this length for torn rotator cuff rehab or during physical therapy for rotator cuff injuries; it is just not necessary.

Rotator cuff injury rehabilitation is all about the sensible, gradual and controlled use of exercise.

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger

< - - - A young Governor by the name of Arnold Schwarzenegger, "The Austrian Oak" I hope I have given you a fresh perspective about how and why undertaking physical therapy for rotator cuff conditions truly can improve your rotator cuff strength.

I hope you have learned a little along the way and found this section not only helpful but informative.

If you want more information on a complete range of rotator cuff muscle exercises then please refer to the rotator cuff exercise sections of the website.

The exercise sections are truly comprehensive and will supply you with all the practical help you could ever need.








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