Besides being extremely painful, there is hardly another injury that can inhibit a golfer more than a sore rotator cuff. Unfortunately, if you overlook the pain, you stand the chance of tearing the muscles surrounding it, which will require surgery. Before you do further damage, you can do several exercises to strengthen it and return to the golf course.
Difficulty: Moderately Challenging
Warm up before you do these exercises and choose light enough weights that allow you to do about 20 or 30 of each exercise. Warm up by stretching your arms and shoulders by doing pendulum-type exercises. Bend down at the waist, let your arms hang naturally, then lift your arms slowly, and bring them back down. Keep doing this until your arms are tired.
Lie on your stomach either on a bed or a table, and let the sore arm hang down with the back of your hand that holds the weight facing forward. Raise your forearm slowly until it is across from your shoulder, then let your hand drop. Do this about 20 or 30 times, or until you feel tired.
Lie on a bed or table on the opposite side of the injury, and put a towel that has been rolled up under the top of your chest. Place your unaffected arm above you head, and bring your other arm to the bed, with your elbow at a 90 degree angle, holding the weight with your palm down. Raise your arm slowly so that it becomes parallel with your shoulder, then return it to its original position. Do this about 20 to 30 times or until you are tired.
Lie on the side of your affected shoulder and keep you other arm by your side. Bend the elbow of your bottom arm about 90 degrees with the weight in your hand, palm down. Raise your forearm slowly to your upper chest, then lower it, also slowly. Repeat until you have done this 20 to 30 times or you begin to tire.
Finally, stand up and with the weight in your hand, palm up, and your affected arm at your side. Slowly raise your arm to the side about 45 degrees, then return your arm to the starting position. Again, do this until you're tired, but aim for 20 or 30 reps.
Place an ice pack or a bag of frozen vegetables on your shoulder for about 20 minutes after you have done these exercises. If you can do all these exercises about 3 to 4 times each week, the chances are good that your rotator cuff will become stronger and you will avoid surgery.