Healing a rotator cuff injury – Paul´s testimonial

A few months ago Paul contacted me, worried about his rotator injury. Not everyone hires me to lose weight. Today we can say that he is fully recovered. He is not a blogger, but I have asked him to describe his experience to share it with you. Here it is.

“To share my experience is not a compromise, it is a pleasure.

I started young playing sports. Being an athlete is a lifestyle and a philosophy. It´s taking your day as a challenge, seeking to overcome.  My dictionary doesn´t contain the word “surrender”.

After a nasty blow dragged by a wave, I felt some discomfort in my shoulder. At first, I thought it would be temporary. But I was wrong. Months of rest, ice, pills… nothing worked.

After reading Google´s answer, two years without physical exercise, I decided to contact Chape.

To sow hope in the heart of a demoralized is not so easy, so…

I will never forget the first thing Chape told me: You have not an injury, you only have a weak point and you need to strengthen it.

That phrase sums up his philosophy: He does not accept defeat. He knows he is able to accomplish anything with determination and effort.

I followed his routines. First and most difficult, trust him and myself. Once done, I got up from the couch and went to the gym. Tailored exercises allowed me to have fun with the advantage that I was recovering my injury.

After three months, I started to get better. 7 months later my shoulder was stronger than ever. When I’m hanging in a harness, I do not remember which is the injured shoulder. I will never forget the lesson: with effort and faith in ourselves no injury will last forever”.

I want to thank Paul publicly for these nice words about me and tell everyone that, if you need help to recover from an injury, here I am!

6 thoughts on “Healing a rotator cuff injury – Paul´s testimonial”

  1. Glad your advice proved effective, but how did you base an exercise regimen without knowing the details of the actual injury. A shoulder strain, an impingement, an overuse injury, etc… are all examples of injuries or conditions that can benefit from the right exercise program. Micro tears injuries can also improve more quickly by combining exercise with rehab. A full thickening (tearing) of a rotator cuff
    muscle will lose range of motion, function and strength. Without stabilization of this type of injury, exercise is likely to make the situation worse.

    I post this comment to help clear up any misunderstanding regarding exercise and shoulder injuries.

    1. I appreciate the comment, dr J. It is very suitable! Two different doctors diagnosed a micro-tear in the rotator cuff, caused by a strong impact by a wave while doing bodyboad, but all that the doctors advised was rest. I proposed some rehabilitation exercises, starting three times a week. I asked him constantly to inform me if any exercise caused him discomfort or pain, although the biggest problem and what lengthened the recovery time was that he slept in very strange positions and got up some mornings with pain in the shoulder. I remember that he came to ask me if he should tie himself to the bed to move as little as possible!
      Also, being a guy who liked to go to the gym, we did many exercises that did not involve the shoulder: leg and core exercises, etc. so he felt better emotionally, not as if he had an injury that left him cripple.
      I know that the recovery was slow, the rehabilitation exercises did him good but as some mornings he woke up in pain simply because of his posture when sleeping, I did not increase the workload until these mornings in which he woke up with pain were occurring less often and this took us several months.
      Do you have any recommendations to improve sleeping postures if I meet another client with this problem? I really would appreciate it!!
      Big hugs,

      1. Glad to see he was properly diagnosed before beginning a rehab plan. I also appreciate the willingness on your part and your clients to LISTEN to his body (and its symptoms) and proceed at a pace that supported his body’s needs rather than pushing beyond reasonable limits.

        The BEST sleeping positions for most people with shoulder injuries is in a recliner. Sleeping at (approximately) a 45 degree in a recliner style chair allows a person to roll from side to side without gravity increasing weight on the shoulder. If a recliner is unavailable, creative thinking to simulate this position will likely get similar results. One such idea could be a steep supportive foam wedge. (Do not use small ones designed to reduce reflux (indigestion). Use velcro on the pillow to adhere it to the steep wedge.

      2. Thank you very much for your advice, I will not forget it because I’m sure I’ll need it in the future! It seems a little uncomfortable to sleep in that position, but it’s much better than getting up in pain :D

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Rest 30 seconds


Lower Back

The Erector Spinae is not just one muscle, but a bundle of muscles and tendons. Paired, they run more or less vertically. It extends throughout the lumbar, thoracic and cervical regions, and lies in the groove to the side of the vertebral column.

Latissimus Dorsi

The latissimus dorsi is the larger, flat, dorsolateral muscle on the trunk, posterior to the arm, and partly covered by the trapezius on its median dorsal region.


The Deltoid muscle is the muscle forming the rounded contour of the shoulder. It is divided into three portions, anterior, lateral and posterior, with the fibers having different roles due to their orientation.


The Infraspinatus muscle is one of the four rotator cuff muscles crossing the shoulder joint and is commonly injured. It is the main external rotator of the shoulder joint.


The Biceps brachii is  actually two separate bundles of muscles (heads). The two heads of the Biceps vary in length and as a result, are called the Short and the Long Biceps heads.


The Triceps Brachii muscles  have three muscle heads: Lateral, Medial and Long head. Primarily responsible for the extension of the elbow joint. The lateral head is used for movements requiring occasional high-intensity force, while the medial fascicle enables more precise, low-force movements.

(Anterior muscles)

The Pronator teres pronates the forearm, turning the hand posteriorly. If the elbow is flexed to a right angle, then pronator teres will turn the hand so that the palm faces inferiorly. It is assisted in this action by pronator quadratus.

(Posterior muscles)

The Extensor Digitorum muscle helps in the movements of the wrists and the elbows. It extends the phalanges, then the wrist, and finally the elbow. It acts principally on the proximal phalanges. It tends to separate the fingers as it extends them.


The pectoralis major makes up the bulk of the chest muscles in the male and lies under the breast in the female.

The pectoralis minor is a thin, triangular muscle, situated at the upper part of the chest, beneath the pectoralis major. 


The Rectus Abdominis is the most superficial of the abdominal muscles. It is this muscle which forms the six-pack shape! It is a paired muscle running vertically on each side of the anterior wall of the abdomen. There are two parallel muscles, separated by a midline band of connective tissue called the linea alba.


The External Oblique is situated on the lateral and anterior parts of the abdomen. It is broad, thin, and irregularly quadrilateral. It is the largest and the most superficial (outermost) of the three flat muscles of the lateral anterior abdomen. 


The gluteal muscles are a group of three muscles which make up the buttocks: the gluteus maximus, gluteus medius and gluteus minimus. The three muscles originate from the ilium and sacrum and insert on the femur. The functions of the muscles include extension, abduction, external rotation, and internal rotation of the hip joint.

Rest 40 seconds



The Quadriceps Femoris is the knee extensor muscle.  As a group, the quadriceps femoris is crucial in walking, running, jumping and squatting. It´s subdivided into four separate “heads”.


A hamstring is any one of the three posterior thigh muscles in between the hip and the knee (from medial to lateral: semimembranosus, semitendinosus and biceps femoris). The hamstrings are quite susceptible to injury.

Lower Leg

The gastrocnemius and the soleus form what we know as calf. They are involved in activities such as walking, running, jumping… 

Rest 120 seconds


Rest 90 seconds


Rest 60 seconds



The trapezius is a broad, flat and triangular muscle. The muscles on each side form a trapezoid shape. It is the most superficial of all the back muscles.

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