The rotator cuff is what is commonly referred to as a group of four muscles surrounding the shoulder joint and keeping the arm into place. They are placed underneath the deltoid, the big shoulder cap that gives strength to the arm, and allow for the greatest range of motion of any joint by holding the arm attached to the shoulder and preventing it from getting dislodged due to the very shallow nature of it necessary for the wide motion range. This complicated set up unfortunately makes the rotator cuff a recipe for disaster if something goes wrong.
What goes wrong is usually associated with high wear movements or trauma, such as in a fall. As I know from personal experience, the recovery of a frozen shoulder can take many months or even a year and more, like in my case. During the inflammation period anyone affected has to go through a long time of misery consisting of night pains and the inability to perform the most mundane tasks such as steering the car wheel, shampooing your air, and reaching up for something in general.
In my case it was so bad that I had pain even just from running, an alternative activity that I had taken up since I could not workout in the gym anymore, obviously. The speed at which my shoulder become inflamed and frozen surprised me because I didn’t suffer any trauma and had been training with weights for years. The reason was that I decided to lift my wife up while playing on the beach without being warmed up, and did so without a problem or a pain and without thinking much of it after. Little did I know what was waiting for me in the following few days: what started like a little tingle grew quickly into pain and limited range of motion that would not let me go for a long time.
I was considering surgery at that point because nothing seemed to work, not anti-inflammatories, not cold packs, nor ultrasound. Then suddenly the inflammation eased off and slowly I re-started weight training with very light resistance recovering strength and almost full range of motion performing overhead presses. What I did is that I tried to fight the problem with conventional weapons, wasting precious time and being miserable for longer than it was necessary. In fact, I later discovered that it is possible to recover much faster than I did, often within weeks, with a proper rotator cuff injury exercise program. Of course there is a time and place for medicine and surgery, such as in serious traumas, but most of the time it can be avoided. With proper techniques and professional advice it is possible to recover quickly and even avoid the doctor.