By: Special Advertising Section May 20, 2019
Q: How do physical therapy and Pilates help with a rotator cuff injury?
A: The rotator cuff is actually a group of four muscles and tendons that surround the shoulder joint. Its primary function is to strengthen and stabilize the shoulder. Above the rotator cuff is the bursa — a sac of tissue that covers and protects the rotator cuff when it comes into close contact with the bones around the shoulder. When the rotator cuff is injured, it can cause inflammation of the bursa, a condition known as bursitis. The result is pain, weakness, and decreased range of motion in the shoulder — particularly when it comes to lifting the arm. This can make even the simplest of daily activities difficult.
Rotator cuff injuries are more common in men, and they’re often caused by repetitive activities such as those found in sports or physical jobs. But aging and tissue degeneration could also be culprits. Whatever the reason, there’s no need to rush to a surgeon.
“Both physical therapy and Pilates go a long way toward improving the function of the muscles around the shoulder,” says Ron Jegadeesh, physical therapist, Pilates instructor, and owner of Pilates Fitness & Physical Therapy Center. “Rather than simply strengthening the large muscles around the shoulder, they target the smaller but equally important muscles. In strengthening these muscles, the exercises and movements of Pilates and physical therapy compensate for damaged tendons. In fact, they can even improve the mechanics of the shoulder joint. And that’s some serious therapy.”