Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Help, Ive Torn My Rotator Cuff

"A torn rotator cuff can mean searing pain, slow healing, and even surgery. But Pilates/yoga can strengthen your shoulders and help prevent problems".

The supraspinatus originates on the upper scapula, just above the spine of the scapula, and inserts on the greater tuberosity of the humerus, a small lump on the outer upper part of the bone. The supraspinatus initiates shoulder abduction. If you stand in Tadasana (Mountain Pose) with your arms by your sides and then lift your arms up to a T shape for Virabhadrasana II (Warrior Pose II), the supraspinatus begins that lift. In its stabilizing function, the supraspinatus helps keep the head of the humerus from slipping down and partially out of the socket, a painful condition called subluxation. Shoulder subluxation in this direction commonly occurs when the muscle is paralyzed by a stroke.


The infraspinatus originates just below the spine of the scapula; the teres minor originates near the infraspinatus on the back of the scapula. Both cross the back of the shoulder joint to insert near the supraspinatus on the greater tuberosity of the humerus, and both are strong external rotators. If you stand in Tadasana, palms facing your body, and then turn your elbow creases forward (the palms will naturally turn forward too), you've externally rotated your shoulder--and you've just used the infraspinatus and teres minor.


To maintain the health of your rotator cuff, it's important not only to strengthen the muscles but to work on opening the chest. When the chest drops instead of opening and the fronts of the shoulders roll forward and down, your shoulder blades tip forward, which facilitates pinching between the head of the humerus and the acromion. In this position, the rotator cuff is more likely to be impinged on and strained, eventually becoming inflamed and more vulnerable to tears.

Pilates and Yoga can benefit the rotator cuff, practiced regularly; a variety of standing poses, chest openers, arm balances, and inversions can help you protect this complex and crucial part of your anatomy.

Lou Stabilizes The Shoulder Girdle in Our Yoga Class