There are a number of things you can do to reduce the risk of suffering a rotator cuff or shoulder injury or re-injury. Maintaining strong healthy tissue in and around the shoulder joint, reducing scar tissue, and fixing any bone structure issues immediately to prevent excessive stress is the best way to stop shoulder pain.
Maintain a strong posture by standing tall; do not slouch as this puts excess strain on your shoulder joint, neck and upper back muscles. Also, avoid lifting objects that are too heavy for you.
Regular exercise will help to balance your upper body, abdominal and lower body strength, as well as your opposing (opposite) muscle groups to avoid physical imbalances. If you are not balanced, you are at a higher risk of experiencing muscular strains because your body will rely on its stronger muscles to compensate for its weaker ones; this affects your body’s alignment.
To stabilize your shoulder joint and preserve your range of motion, maintain the strength of your muscles and tendons. If you have a tendency to suffer from shoulder pain, a regular exercise program that focuses on strengthening, stretching and endurance exercises for your shoulder muscles will help to keep your rotator cuff strong. However, avoid behind the neck pull downs or neck presses.
If you start a new activity, remember to avoid doing too much to soon to give your body an opportunity to build up its endurance. Gradually increase your participation to prevent overworking your muscles.
To prevent injuring your rotator cuff while participating in activities ensure you:
- Warm up and cool down your muscles before and after working them
- Learn and use the proper form and techniques
- Choose appropriate equipment
This is especially important when participating in something new such as swimming, weightlifting, racquet or throwing sports.
If you are suffering from shoulder pain, decrease and/or avoid any repetitive motions that cause irritation (usually overhead or reaching actions). If you are required to perform these motions at work or play and can not avoid them, make sure you take frequent breaks and rest your shoulder to prevent rotator cuff fatigue.