WHAT IS A ROATOR CUFF?
The rotator cuff is a group of muscles and tendons that surround the shoulder joint, keeping the head of your upper arm bone firmly within the shallow socket of the shoulder. A rotator cuff injury can cause a dull ache in the shoulder, which often worsens when you try to sleep on the involved side.
HOW DID I INJURE MY ROTATOR CUFF?
Rotator cuff injuries occur most often in people who repeatedly perform overhead motions in their jobs or sports (i.e. painters, carpenters, and people who play baseball or tennis) The risk of rotator cuff injury also increases with age. Many people recover from rotator cuff injuries with the right care management that focuses on improving flexibility and strength of the muscles surrounding the shoulder joint.
Sometimes, rotator cuff tears may occur as a result of a single injury. In those circumstances, medical care should be provided as soon as possible. Extensive rotator cuff tears may require surgical repair, transfer of alternative tendons or joint replacement.
There are many structures that can be injured in rotator cuff injury. How the injury occurred is the most important question to answer. This is especially important if the onset was gradual since your static and dynamic posture, muscle strength, flexibility and spine shape all have important roles to play.
Once you suspect any rotator cuff injury, it is important to confirm the exact type of your rotator cuff injury since treatment does vary depending on the specific or combination of rotator cuff injuries.
Your rotator cuff is an important group of control and stability muscles that maintain “centralization” of your shoulder joint. In other words, it keeps the shoulder ball centered over the small socket. This prevents injuries such as impingement, subluxations and dislocations.
We also know that your rotator cuff provides subtle glides and slides of the ball joint on the socket to allow full shoulder movement. Plus, your shoulder blade (scapula) has a vital role as the main dynamically stable base plate that attaches your arm to your chest wall.
Researchers have concluded that there are essentially 7 stages that need to be covered to effectively rehabilitate these injuries and prevent recurrence.
- Early Injury: Protection, Pain Relief & Anti-inflammatory Treatment
- Regain Full Shoulder Range of Motion
- Restore Scapular Control and Scapulohumeral Rhythm
- Restore Normal Neck-Scapulo-Thoracic-Shoulder Function
- Restore Rotator Cuff Strength
- Restore High Speed, Power, Proprioception and Agility Exercises
- Return to Sport or Work
For more information of the different treatments offered at our practice, please see the tabs labeled Graston therapy, Rapid Release and ultrasound.