For rotator cuff problems (i.e. inflammation, tendonitis, and minor tears) the first priority is regaining full painless range of motion.
This is followed by muscle strengthening. The best place to start is with resistance in internal and external rotation. If you have an elastic band (theraband) attach it to a door handle, keep your elbow at your side and rotate your arm from across your chest to directly in front of you. Then again against resistance, rotate your arm from infront of you back across your chest.
Light weights may also be used but you must perform these laying on one side, then the other to use gravity as resistance. Performing the same motions in deep water is also helpful.
The type of exercise to rehabilitate the knee varies depending upon the specific diagnosis. For example, kneecap problems, usually associated with pain both front and back accompanied by grating and aggravated by up and down activities are best treated by straight leg raises. Swimming, exercising the knee in water and low resistance bicycling (no hills) are also excellent.
Bicycling and water are also helpful for cartilage and joint surface damage.
Stay away from impact activities such as aerobics, Stairmaster and running until healing is complete.
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