Anyway, a report from USA Today came out this week talking about pitchers recovering from shoulder injuries. Jake Peavy is looking to bounce back from a detached muscle, but has now been diagnosed with rotator cuff tendinitis.
The rotator cuff is a group of muscles and tendons that stabilize your shoulder. Think of them as the bracing or framework of the joint. Pitching exerts an enormous amount of tension on these muscles and tendons, especially the acceleration and deceleration phases of the pitching stretch.
Tendinitis occurs when the tendons are inflamed through injury or overuse. This is actually a good injury since it isn’t a rotator cuff tear.
How do you know you have rotator cuff tendinitis? There will be localized pain in the shoulder and you’ll experience stiffness. You will have some pain as you rotate your shoulder holding the arm level.
How do you treat rotator cuff tendinitis? Time and rest. You should ice the shoulder to reduce swelling and not use it during your sporting activities. Anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen should be used. You may want to jump right back into activities, but hold out until you feel no pain.
How long does it take to recover from rotator cuff tendinitis? Here comes that awful phrase: it depends on the severity. It really does. Usually you can be over it in a week or two as long as you don’t over exert the shoulder joint.
Can you prevent rotator cuff tendinitis? Not all the time, but you can actually strengthen your rotator cuff. One of the exercises I use is called a 90 degree rotation. A YouTube video is embedded below, but remember, this exercise is important for strengthening your rotator cuff.