Rotator Cuff

Rotator Cuff Injury

Rotator cuff injury

Rotator cuff injury 1500 750 Ace Health Centre

Rotator cuff injury

Have you ever experienced continuing shoulder pain in the upper arm/shoulder blade? It’s more than likely related to rotator cuff injury/weakness

But what is a rotator cuff injury?

The Rotator cuff is a group of 3 muscles that help stabilise and move the shoulder. The rotator cuff is a commonly injured area resulting in tear, Tendinopathy or bursitis.

#Tear is an acute episode of overstretching the tissues until they are damaged. These injuries typically cause intense and immediate pain. Usually occurs with some sort of traumatic mechanism car accident, fall onto the shoulder, lifting heavy items etc.

#Tendinopathy is an injury caused by chronic overuse. Repetitive strain is placed on the muscles with not enough recovery time in-between. This causes the muscle to become inflamed and poor in integrity.

#Bursitis is the inflammation of a bursa that helps protect structures in the shoulder (like a cushion). This can be acute or chronic. This is caused by the shoulder being too unstable, usually from rotator cuff injury/weakness.

Although the rotator cuff has individual actions its main role is shoulder stability.

The shoulder joint itself is a ball and socket joint, but with one large ball (arm) and one small socket (shoulder blade). This allows for a great range of motion but poor stability of the joint (can pop out easily). The group of muscles called the rotator cuff comes off the socket, grab the ball and pull the ball back toward the socket to increase the stability of the joint. Thus they are working most of the time in all different positions to hold the two together.

Common symptoms

Rotator cuff injury can be but is not restricted to the following;

  • weakness through shoulder
  • Loss of shoulder full range of motion 
  • Pain when lying on the effect side
  • Clicking or grinding noises 
  • Pain with overhead or lifting activities
  • Trouble reaching behind your back

Individuals at risk

  • older age groups (>40yrs)
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Jobs with a repetitive shoulder strain
  • Sports with repetitive shoulder strain (throwing/gym)
  • Previous shoulder injuries

This conditioning is diagnosed either by imaging (US or MRI) or assessment by a skilled practitioner such as a physiotherapist or sports Dr. 

This article was written by our physio Christian. Call us today to book in with him if you have a shoulder injury.

Rotator Cuff Guide For The Gold Coast

Rotator Cuff Guide For The Gold Coast

Rotator Cuff Guide For The Gold Coast 550 309 Ace Health Centre

Over the years treating patients complaining about shoulder pain we have noticed that most of you often neglected to work out their shoulders in the cooler winter months spent indoors. In particular the rotator cuff, an area of the shoulder we treat almost daily. Heres our Rotator Cuff Guide For The Gold Coast and an image breakdown.

The term rotator cuff refers to a group of tendons and muscles that work to move and stabilise the shoulder joint.

But how do hurt your rotator cuff?

Rotator cuff injuries can occur as a result of direct trauma or gradual wear and tear of your shoulder.

Rotator cuff injuries are often recognisable by a few key symptoms:

  • Limited shoulder range of movement
  • Pain with different shoulder movements
  • Tenderness on palpation
  • Diffuse ache around the outside of the shoulder and upper arm
  • Weakness in your shoulder and arms

You may also experience:

  • Waking in the night when rolling onto shoulder
  • Pain down the arm to the elbow

What can you do to help fix your rotator cuff?

Your physiotherapist will take a detailed history through subjective questioning. They will then perform a few physical tests of your shoulder to help determine a diagnosis. Imaging will often be requested by your physiotherapist or GP to determine the extent of rotator cuff damage, or for a more specific diagnosis. More severe rotator cuff injuries will require referral to a surgeon or specialist, however less severe rotator cuff injuries often respond extremely well to physiotherapy.

After your assessment, you will be provided with exercises, specific to your injury. The goal of physiotherapy is to reduce your pain and increase function. Your therapist will equip you with the knowledge an exercise program to do so. Heat and pharmaceuticals can also play a role in symptom management of rotator cuff injuries.

What can you do to prevent rotator cuff injuries?

Before you dust the cobwebs off your surfboard or give SUPing another go, make sure your shoulders are nice and strong. There are a few simple home exercises that your physio can teach you. Alternatively, you might like to try pilates classes with a qualified instructor to keep you injury free and in the water all day long.

Thats a wrap for our Rotator Cuff Guide For The Gold Coast. We hope you enjoyed it.