Shoulder impingement and rotator cuff injuries often respond well to physical therapy exercises. The success of the exercise program will depend on an accurate clinical assessment and an evidence-based approach to prescribing appropriate interventions. Two expert physical therapists and clinical researchers published an excellent review on the rehabilitation of shoulder impingement syndrome and rotator cuff injuries in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.
Drs. Todd Ellenbecker and Ann Cools offer a well-detailed description of the literature behind range of motion limitations, scapular dyskinesis, and muscle balance. Both authors have published extensively in these areas of clinical research, giving them an excellent perspective at translating evidence into practice by sharing their expertise. Ellenbecker and Cools provide some unique exercises for restoring shoulder muscle balance, including the “external rotation oscillation” exercise using Thera-Band® tubing and a FlexBar®. Dr. Ellenbecker recently completed an EMG study on this exercise, finding moderate levels of infraspinatus muscle activation. Another exercise researched by Dr. Ellenbecker, a 90-90 plyometric external rotation with a Thera-Band soft weight was highlighted in the article as well, and was featured previously on the Academy blog.
Simple and effective Thera-Band products can be a valuable part of an evidence-based shoulder rehabilitation program.
REFERENCE: Ellenbecker TS, Cools A. Rehabilitation of shoulder impingement syndrome and rotator cuff injuries: an evidence-based review. Br J Sports Med. 2010 Apr;44(5):319-27.