Eccentric vs Concentric exercises in Rotator cuff tear

25/02/2020

Limp in Leap out Physiotherapy & Wellness in Belfield provides servicing to many near by Inner West suburbs including Belmore, Strathfield and Croydon park. See our weekly blog below if you are interested in new research, facts, general information or ideas.

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Rotator cuff tears can be very painful and it can affect your everyday life. There are many ways to treat rotator cuff tears… Today we will explore a recent study about the effectiveness of eccentric vs concentric exercises in rotator cuff tears.


What is a rotator cuff tear?

Rotator cuff refers to a group of muscles in your shoulder. The muscles are supraspinatus, infraspinatus, teres minor and teres major. The purpose of these muscles are to improve the stability of your shoulder by strongly pushing your shoulder into the socket.

It is common amongst athletes who repeatedly perform fast and explosive overhead movements. It may also occur in adults who are over 40 years old due to degeneration of the tendon.


What is eccentric and concentric?

Concentric and eccentric are types of contraction under isotonic. They are different ways to contract a muscle while performing strength training.

Concentric: The muscle is shortened


How do we treat it and what does the evidence say?

The aim of treatment for rotator cuff tear is to promote healing of the muscles and to improve muscles and joint function through prescribed exercises.

A study that was done by Macías-Hernández et al., 2021 had 26 participants that were separated into two groups. The intervention group involves 14 people performing slow eccentric exercises with the tempo of 15-20seconds per repetition. The control group has 12 participants performing concentric exercises with the tempo of 5seconds each rep. The results  suggest that there is significant improvement in both groups. However, the eccentric exercise group was found to reduce pain and improve function quicker than the control group.

To sum up everything that was mentioned before, although there are no significant differences between both groups, eccentric exercises with slow tempo per repetition has shown to be superior. Both concentric and eccentric exercises can be used together in order to achieve optimal outcome.

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This information can be used to gain a better understanding of rotator cuff injury. To find out more about how we can help, or to book in for a consultation you can contact us via our Limp in Leap out Physiotherapy & Wellness contact us page, or book online here.

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Written by Willis

Physiotherapist

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