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.
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.