By Fabiola Francisque

The rotator cuff is composed of four muscles attached at the head of the humerus, which is the bone between the elbow and the shoulder. The rotator cuff muscles stabilize the shoulder joint, which can weaken and create muscular imbalance. According to MayoClinic, fibromyalgia is a “chronic condition characterized by widespread pain in your muscles, ligaments and tendons, as well as fatigue and multiple tender points.” There are specific exercises that can be done in order to strengthen the rotator cuff. These exercises are not typically included in daily workout routines and should be performed with special care, as fibromyalgia causes severe sensitivity to touch.
Internal Rotation

Using a mat or towel, lie down on your right side with your left arm along the upper side of your body. Bend the right elbow 90 degrees, keeping your forearm on the floor. Roll the right shoulder in and bring your right forearm up toward your chest. This exercise should be completed on both sides of the body.
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Side-Lying External Rotation

Lie on your right side with the left arm along the upper side of your body. Bend the left arm at a 90 degree angle. Exhale and rotate your forearm away from your body. Pause and slowly lower the arm back to starting position. Perform this exercise on both sides of the body.
Prone Position Exercises

Lie on your stomach on a mat or towel. Extend your left arm out at shoulder level with your elbow bent at 90 degrees. Keep your hand down and slowly raise your left hand. When your hand is level with your shoulder, pause and slowly lower your hand. Repeat this exercise on both sides.
Standing Exercises

Start in a standing position with your right arm halfway between the front and side of your body. Keeping your thumbs down, raise your right arm as if emptying a can. Continue lifting until your arm is approximately 45 degrees and slowly lower back to starting position. Repeat this exercise on both arms.

The rotator cuff muscles are a sensitive area, and fibromyalgia causes extreme muscle sensitivity, so be sure to consult with your physician before engaging in an exercise regimen. If you begin to feel pain, dizziness or disorientation, stop exercising immediately.
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MayoClinic: Fibromyalgia
“The Fibromyalgia Help Book”; Jenny Frensen; 1997
Anatomy and Physiology: The Unity of Form and Function“; Kenneth S. Saladin; 2007

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