WHAT IS MY ROTATOR CUFF?
AND WHY IS IT CAUSING ME SO MANY PROBLEMS?
The rotator cuff is a group of four muscles that attach the humerus (arm bone) to the scapula (the wing bone). These muscles stabilize the shoulder and hold the ball and socket joint together during shoulder motions. The rotator cuff muscles are most active during activites such as throwing or elevating the arm to the front of the body or to the side of the body. Performing these motions quickly or with weight stress the rotator cuff even more.
The most common cause of traumatic rotator cuff injuries is a fall on an outstretched arm or overuse in sports. In my practice, I see just as many problems that occur as a result of improper training, muscle imbalance, prior shoulder injuries, shoulder arthritis/tendinitis/bursitis, poor posture, aging and shoulder impingement syndrome.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF ROTATOR CUFF INJURY?
Pain is usually present and can be at the top of the shoulder, the front of the shoulder or the outside of the arm (by the deltoid muscle). The pain is worse at night or after repetitive arm motions. The most painful motions are lifting the arm to the side or turning inward in front of you (like tucking in your shirt at the front) or behind you (like tucking your shirt in the back). Frequently, the shoulder feels better if arm movement is limited. Worsening pain is followed by weakness in the shoulder.
ROTATOR CUFF TREATMENT
Many rotator cuff conditions can be treated without surgery. If sufficient damage has been done to the tendons or the cartilage, surgery may be needed to repair the damage. Many conditions can be treated with chiropratic manipulation and rehabilitative exercises. Myofascial release and manual muscle techniques can remove restrictions in the muscle, ligaments and joint capsule. Kinesiotape can be helpful to support the muscles and reduce the inflammation. Ice over the top and front of the shoulder can relieve pain and inflammation. Doing the wrong type of exercise can make the shoulder worse. You Doctor of Chiropractice will give you specific exercises to stretch and strengthen the shoulder.