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These Star Athletes Injured Their Rotator Cuffs

How Rehab Helped Them Get Back on the Field

Because the shoulder is one of the most active parts of the human body, injuries occur in this area quite frequently. One of the most common and debilitating shoulder injuries affects the rotator cuff complex — four separate muscles that work together to stabilize the joint and move the shoulder in different directions. An injury to this complex can greatly limit your ability to perform activities with your arm, but with proper rehabilitation, a rotator cuff injury doesn’t have to be the end of the world. With football season back in full swing, our team here at In Motion O.C. wanted to highlight two talented players who, after injuring their shoulders and undergoing several sessions of physical therapy, were able to play more successfully than ever.

Drew Brees

In 2005, this New Orleans Saints quarterback was playing on a one-year contract and having the best year of his career. But near the end of his last game, he dove for a fumble, and in the chaos of the pile, he injured his throwing shoulder. An MRI showed that he had torn his labrum and severely injured his rotator cuff. After surgery and extensive physical therapy, he started the very first game of the 2006 season. Since then, he has thrown for more yards and touchdowns than any other active quarterback in the league.

Ray Lewis

An NFL linebacker’s job description is as follows: Grab and throw 300-pound professional athletes out of the way, then tackle bulky-but-fast players running full speed. It’s safe to say that having two strong, stable shoulders is necessary to get the job done. In 2002, Ray Lewis injured his shoulder while playing with the Baltimore Ravens and came back the very next season to win Defensive Player of the Year.
While your shoulder pain may not have stemmed from an injury on the football field, it can still be reduced or managed by performing exercises and stretches dedicated to this area over time. It’s often necessary to see a specialist for shoulder pain if it becomes unbearable or interrupts your daily activities. Physical therapy is a great way to learn how to regain your mobility and to strengthen your muscles so that you can avoid future injury.

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