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scyfreestyler
January 19th, 2005, 03:20 PM
I have been doing my cuff and scapula exercises diligently for the past three weeks and I have moved on from the red theraband to the green. My question is this, what constitutes a strong rotator cuff muscle group? I can perform a set of 60 repetitions with the green theraband for internal and external rotation as well as for my scapular exercises. Those who have been to therapy before will know what I am talking about while others are thinking I am from another planet. For those who are familiar with these exercises, at what level is the cuff considered strong? I still get a little bit of popping (both shoulders now since my RH has been taking up the slack for the left, and it was probably injured to a lesser degree as well from the get go) and some apprehension when raising and lowering my arm. I think my PT is going to release me to get back in the water when I see him this week but I am curious if I have done all I can do with my cuff strength. I plan on doing these exercises regulalry for as long as I continue to swim but how far do you go before you decide that PT is not going to solve your problem? Thanks for the input everybody.

msgrupp
January 19th, 2005, 04:24 PM
strength is an on-going project. You will probably progress thru the whole rainbow of Thera-bands and STILL need to keep up with the exercises. Blue is usually next in line followed by black and I think gray is the end.

I don't know of any specific "test" that says when you're "done" (no pop-up roaster thingies here!). Your PT will hopefully be honest with you when he thinks you've reached your maximum potential. Different sports require different things. A quarterback needs a stronger rotator cuff than the punter does.

Most docs feel that a 6-12 week "try" of PT gives them enough material to work with. Either you're going to get better (and are satisfied) or you need more invasive means to achieve your goal. Just keep good track of how much PT sessions you're doing--some insurance companies have limits per event or even per year no matter what the event.

gull
January 19th, 2005, 06:46 PM
I've been using therabands for 18 months and have progressed to black for the rotator cuff exercises (internal and external rotation, and straight arm raises) and silver for the scapula (bent and straight arm "rowing"). I believe there is only one more color--gold. I was told to advance very slowly, since the rotator cuff muscles are small. The popping eventually disappeared. This can be a slow process, so you have to be patient. And I agree with msgrupp--I don't think you ever reach a point where you can stop doing the exercises because the rotator cuff is strong enough (unless you don't plan to swim anymore).

DRBOB
January 19th, 2005, 07:34 PM
Hello again. Internal rotators include two very large strong mls. pectorals and latissimus. External rotators are all small and relatively weaker. Internal rotators get a considerable workout doing many common exercises, esp. swimming. Excessive internal rotation causes shoulder impingement of the subacromian structures, tendons and bursa. Because of this I'm not a fan of strengthening internal rotators at all in a swimmer.

Not all ortho's or physical therapy trainners agree. I'm a chiropractor by the way. Still my clinical experience with athletes
is to stretch the strong tight internal rotators and stregthen the exernal rotators. It becomes a permanent prescription to balance the pects and lats with rotator cuff mls. The pec/lat/teres major combination is much more than a match for the smaller weaker external rotators. If this doesnt work and you have surgical repair of the shoulder you still have to do the thera band exercises.

scyfreestyler
January 19th, 2005, 09:19 PM
Originally posted by gull80
I've been using therabands for 18 months and have progressed to black for the rotator cuff exercises (internal and external rotation, and straight arm raises) and silver for the scapula (bent and straight arm "rowing"). I believe there is only one more color--gold. I was told to advance very slowly, since the rotator cuff muscles are small. The popping eventually disappeared. This can be a slow process, so you have to be patient. And I agree with msgrupp--I don't think you ever reach a point where you can stop doing the exercises because the rotator cuff is strong enough (unless you don't plan to swim anymore). Okay, Gull has answered my question. I have a long ways to go before I get to optimal strength.