Rotator Cuff Tendinopathy Stretches & Exercises – Ask Doctor Jo

Hey everybody it’s Doctor Jo and today
I’m going to show you some stretches and exercises for rotator cuff tendinopathy.
Let’s get started. By the waym like my shirt it’s pretty cool, isn’t it? if you want to check this or a whole
bunch of other stuff out go to all All right let’s get
started with some pendulum exercises standing up. So the first set of exercises are going
to be pendulum exercises. Make sure you get a sturdy chair or counter top
something solid to hold on to. Now with the pendulum exercises, you
don’t want to actively move your arm, you’re going to move your body to make
your arm move. So just spread your feet out a little
bit, let your arm hanging down nice and loose, and then you’re going to start off
with a circle, but move your whole body for that circle. So it’s not necessarily
this, but it’s moving the whole thing around. So just start off with maybe 10
in one direction and then reverse it and go back in the other direction. This is
really nice because it just opens up that joint. If there’s some irritation in
the shoulder, it helps kind of get all of that out of
there. Then the next one is going to be a front-to-back movement. So same thing, move your whole body. Don’t
actively move your arm, but let your body swing. And just front to back. Maybe start
off with 10 of those as well. And then the last one of the pendulums
is then side to side. So now swinging it across your body with that body
movement going back and forth. So again just start off with 10 of each of these
and try and work your way up to a minute. Alright the next exercises are going to
be on the ground. So now I’m going to show you some stretches, passive range of
motion and active assisted, with a PVC pipe. If you don’t have the PVC pipe
that’s okay, you can use a cane if you have it or broomstick. You just want
something nice and solid to be able to help you with that stretching. So the
first one is going to be for shoulder internal rotation. So this would be on my
left side. This is the motion where you’re going
down this way or if you’re reaching up behind your back,
your clasping your bra, or unclasping your bra. And then you’re just going to
take the stick and put it behind you with the other hand and then reach back
and grab it. You might have to start off really low
because if your sore that shoulder and is irritated, you’re not gonna be able to start off
really high. But just really gently, you want to be comfortable you don’t want to
be painful, with the right hand, pull upwards and so
that left arm is just kind of going for the ride. So just pull a little bit. I’m gonna turn to
show you some more, and then you can either hold it for 30 seconds, if you can
tolerate that, and do that three times. Or if that’s really store, you can do many
sets of five seconds so just hold it as much as you can, about 5 to 10 seconds,
and then do five of those. Just getting that that stretch in there that
internal rotation for people who have wallets in their back pocket, kind of
that motion might be painful so this will help out with that as well. The next one is going to be the external
rotation stretch and that’s almost that stop sign position, you’re going back
this way. If you’re grabbing for your seat belt to pull it in that kind of
motion. So with the stick, this time you won’t
lie down. It’s probably little bit easier to do that. Put your elbows out almost in that stop
sign position there. And then this time, it’s just kind of going for the ride.
You’re moving the stick with your right side and pushing it down. So you’re just going to the stretch. Hold it maybe 5 to 10 seconds and then
come back up. So I’m not really actively moving it, I’m
letting the stick do most of the work with the other arms. Just pulling
pushing back, holding it for you know five to ten, work up to 30 seconds if you
can, and then come back up. So now let’s do some strengthening
exercises. We’ll go back to the internal rotation and external rotation. This is probably just maybe a one to two
pound weight. You want to start off with something light because again if you’re
irritated it’s going to be pretty sore. If even a
little bit of weight sore, you can do these exercises without the weight and
then work your way up to it. So again I’m gonna lie down but I’m going to be on my
side and I’m going to be on the side that I’m working. So if it’s my left arm, I’m gonna lie down on my left side. This
is going to be the internal rotation. Put your elbow just in front of your body so
you’re not lying on the elbow. So you have that movement. And put it
straight out in front of you so it’s kind of perpendicular to your body. That
almost 90 degrees at your elbow, and then just pull up this way, and slowly come back down. Nice slow and
controlled. Don’t go fast, don’t let the weight if
you’re using weight pull you back down, make sure you’re controlling that motion. Nice, nice and slow and just start off
with ten of these, and if that becomes easy work your way
up to 20 – 25. And if that’s easy, then add a little bit more weight. For the
external rotation, I like using a resistive band. Take the
band, put it in both hands and then put your thumbs up. It’s important for the thumbs to be up
to get that good motion. You want your wrist to be in a neutral
position, a lot of times people turn it out like that, but then you’re going to
end up making your wrists sore. So try and keep them in a nice neutral position and
keep your elbows by your side. This is the one where a lot of times
people come out they like to bring their elbows out, but then that’s not really
doing that external rotation. So keep it close to your side on both sides, and
then just pull out as far as you comfortably can, and then slowly come back in again.
Controlling the movement. Don’t let that band just pull you back in. Nice and slow, and if you feel like your elbows keep
coming out, roll up a towel, squeeze the towel to your side, and then you know if the towel starts to
fall, then your elbows are coming out. So again just start off with about 10 of
these and then work your way up 20 – 25. If that becomes easy, then you can
get a stronger resistance band. So the next one with the resistive band
is going to be rows. And that’s working kind of the back of your shoulders, the
scapula area, those muscles that keep you in that good
proper position for your shoulders. Just take the resistive band, you can wrap it around your feet if you
want to, again keep those thumbs up, wrist in a neutral position, and this
time pull and squeeze back just like you’re rowing a boat. But make sure when
you come back, don’t just bring your arms back, squeeze those shoulders together as
well. And then, still keeping it nice slow and controlled, and then coming back in.
If you want to do a little pause on the squeeze, hold it three to five seconds, that’s fine, and
then slowly come back. And the same progression started off with 10 and work
your way up from there. Then you’re going to put the band on the other side, around
your back, and you’re going to do we call them serratus punches, scapular punches, this
time you’re working those serratus muscles in the back and those the ones
that keep the shoulder blade close your body, and if those are weak a
lot of times it’s called scapular winging where the shoulder blades kind
of come away from your body, and then that makes a whole lot of other stuff
start hurting. I like to put the band underneath so
it’s not rubbing on my arms, but again keep those thumbs up, keep your arms straight, try not to bend
your elbows for this one. Start and punch forward, bring those arms forward,
and then slowly bring back. Almost into that squeezing scapular squeezing
position. So punch, come back again. Nice and slow. Make sure you get
that full punch, and come back. But see I’m not bending my elbows when I come
back and punching, I’m punching the whole arm. It’s moving as one unit. So there you have it, those were your
stretches and exercises for rotator cuff tendinopathy. If you have any questions,
or if you’d like to tell me which three people you think are my favorite, leave
it in the comments section. If you’d like to check out some other videos, go to Don’t forget to like us. And remember, be safe, have fun, and I
hope you feel better soon.

30 Replies to “Rotator Cuff Tendinopathy Stretches & Exercises – Ask Doctor Jo”

  1. Good stuff as usual. Jo, do you have a tip (or can you even make a video) about ganglions? I have a recurring one on my wrist. Thank you 🙂

  2. Thanks for the videos, I'm (also) a fitness professional and I found your video very helpful and definitely something interesting to see between all those unprepared YouTuber … keep it up! 😉

  3. Thanks for the video DrJ. What do you think about stretching through pain? Not going crazy with it but maybe like a 5/10 pain level to try and improve matters? People say you should never stretch through pain but if that's the case I can't do anything to rehab my shoulder. The band exercises are largely pain-free, though.

  4. please I have a rotator cuff impingment so if I do these exercises as warming up before working out .is it ok ? and will it help me to avoid shoulder's injuries ?

  5. Is doing internal rotations necessary? Some people say that it isn't required since we have plenty of muscles that do internal rotation but external on the other hand is very limited.

  6. I've watched dozens of videos on this topic (desperately trying to "fix" my shoulder), and this one really does it for me. It has the exact mix of stretching and strengthening that I think I need. Thanks!

  7. Doctor, I’m in the U.S. Where is a good place to buy these resistance bands. I’m not looking for you to endorse a store, or anything like that. Just maybe point me in the right direction. Thank you. Love your videos. They’re very helpful. God bless you for posting them.

  8. Thanks a lot for this video. Do you think I should try these exercises after having shockwave therapy for calcifying tendonitis. I finished last session two weeks ago and I am very limited in terms of range of movement and there is no pain relief at all. I was hopeful, but shockwave therapy has not fixed the problem

  9. I have had problems while serving in tennis for about a year. The muscle pains initially, but after warming it up, it gets well enough to play.
    The shoulder hurts when it is contorted fully and ready to strike the ball before actual contact (before warm-up). Any suggestions?

  10. Hi Doctor Jo! How long do you do this sequence of stretches and exercises for? And how soon can I go back to regular weight training? I have taken a month of from lifting. I have been diagnosed with mild tendinopathy and a small labrum tear with an MRI.

  11. Doc is this for torn or severely damaged rotator cuff? BTW we love all 6 of our fur baby rescues a hell of alot more than people Lol!!

  12. I have to have a surgery due to rotator cuff problem and torn tendons.  Are there any exercises that I can do to prevent the surgery?  Thank you.

  13. i have been diagnosed with rotator cuff tendinopathy.. im waiting for an mri (3 more months), and a ortho surgeon (up to two years wait). my doc has said physio… i cant afford physio since i cannot work with this… so i am home schooling.. how do i know if i am damaging more than helping,,, i am in so much pain 24/7 and have lost most of the use of my arm, pain right down to elbow, it best to just stick with keeping as much movement as possible without strengthening? my doc hasnt offered me any pain control aside from precriptions , which i cant take. i am sure there must be something i can do at home to help with the constant pain. thank you… im using your videos daily

  14. I have tendinopathy in both shoulders. Should I avoid doing the external rotation stretch or is that fine? I am just worried that will do more harm than good if I use one arm, that has tendinopathy, to push down the other arm.

  15. why do i have pain in my shoulder joint everytime i do excercises for my rotator cuff ? pls help!

  16. Love your video's. I have a question for you, on your video you are treating rotator cuff problems. I was just diagnosed with Tendinosis is that the same thing. I have been in severe pain already a hour and seeing a specialist in a couple of weeks but I need to find some sort of relief now.
    Thanks for your videos and information

  17. Appreciate you taking the time to make this video, may have tendanitis in my rotator cuff and looking for some low stress exercises to strengthen it.

  18. Thanks, Dr. Jo! Good stuff. Wondering if you can recommend frequency and duration for the routine. I just began today after several days of medium-severe pain in left cuff. This routine felt good. Daily? Every other day? What is a typical recovery timeline (healthy male, 30s)? Thinking 2-4 weeks as a guess.

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