Last week I was working with a client KG, who is 8 weeks post rotator cuff repair surgery. I should probably explain that he was diagnosed with a full tear in his right rotator cuff and a partial tear in his left rotator. He went under the knife for his right and wanted to try to rehab the left. We were able to begin managing his left shoulder injury by utilizing the Core Stix in unilateral mode.

This was also very effective in working his core as we have been limited due to other spinal conditions that limit flexion and extension of the pelvis. All core work has been standing/seated spinal stabilization work. So performing the exercises unilateral allowed us to really engage his core at the same time.

Once we got the green light from his MD and PT we were able to begin strengthening his rotator cuff on the right side.  Now what we had was a tremendous strength deficiency between the two arms. Under normal circumstances we would have to load one side at a time. What I did was use the X-Lite rod for his right side and the Lite rod for his left in his external rotation exercises. I was able to get some bilateral work in while maxing out each side to their own strength level.  We did this with Core Stix Scapular Stabilizing Pulldowns, Wide W Pulldowns and Serratus Anterior Straight Arm Presses with Scapular Stability. All with great results.

Most people are hesitant to train one side with increased resistance vs the opposite side. However what we found was that his right side strength quickly caught up to the left side, within 3 weeks he was using identical resistance on each side.  KG is now nearly pain free with great ROM in his right shoulder (no night pain) and we have been able to successfully manage the tear in his left rotator that he is also pain free in nearly all ROM. He still has slight pain in certain ROM due to a small labral tear so we train up to that ROM. Staying in a completely pain free range.