The long-term changes that occur in and around the shoulder joint because of everyday wear and tear cannot be totally prevented. But you may be able to prevent some rotator cuff problems if you:
- Keep the muscles in your shoulders flexible and strong. Daily exercises to maintain strength and flexibility may be the best defense against rotator cuff disorders.
- Have good posture at all times. Stand straight and relaxed, without slumping.
- Don't lift objects that are too heavy for you-especially over your head.
- Don't catch falling objects.
- Avoid sports or other activities where forceful contact or falls are likely or common.
- Don't keep your arms out to the side or raised over your head for long periods of time, such as when painting a ceiling. If you must do these activities:
- Take frequent breaks, and ice your shoulder several times a day and at night.
- Take a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug to relieve any swelling and pain in the tissues that are being pinched. Be safe with medicines. Read and follow all instructions on the label.
- Ask your doctor if it would be helpful to take an anti-inflammatory medicine before activities that may stress your shoulder.