Telephone: 01788 560646
69 Albert Street, Rugby,
Warwickshire, CV21 2SN.
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Rotator Cuff Conditions - A Common Injury

Friday June 21, 2019 at 2:38pm
Rotator Cuff Conditions - A Common Injury

What is the Rotator Cuff?

The rotator cuff is a structural group of four muscles that attach from the scapula (shoulder blade) to the humerus (upper arm bone). This forms a “cuff” shape around the shoulder. The cuff is a vital structure that allows the movement and stabilisation of almost all of the shoulder movements, thus strength and flexibility of these muscles is crucial in order for the shoulder girdle to function. Therefore, it is not surprising to find that the overall function of the shoulder is significantly affected when an injury to the rotator cuff occurs.

What are the common problems that occur?

Rotator cuff issues are very common and may present at any age. However, the incidence of these problems increases with age. Degeneration of the rotator cuff muscles and tendons is a common occurrence and repetitive movements and postural issues can predispose tearing of the structures. Another common problem is an irritation of the tendons (attachment of the muscles onto the joint), which can create a pinching; known as impingement, in the narrow gap between the shoulder joint structures. A common traumatic injury of the rotator cuff can happen when an individual falls and uses their arm(s) to absorb the impact. This in turn can create tears, impingement and/or inflammation of certain rotator cuff structures.

Why are Rotator Cuff Injuries so common?

The most common cause of rotator cuff issue that I see are the result of repetitive movements. A classic example is decorating and DIY-related activities. This can involve repetitively reaching above the head, overstretching of the arms, lifting and poor postural positions. Additionally, the rotator cuff is often injured through gardening. The mechanisms of injury can include repetitive pulling of weeds/roots, digging and pulling a lawnmower cord to start it.

What can an Osteopath do to help?

Osteopaths can provide a wide range of techniques to aid in the recovery of musculoskeletal pain. Mobilisation and soft tissue techniques can be used to increase the mobility through the shoulder and resolve muscular tightness. A personalised home exercise plan of mobility and strengthening exercises is also commonly given alongside posture advice and the use of ice therapy where required. Fortunately, many rotator cuff problems are resolvable through manual therapy without the need for steroid injections or surgery.

For more information, or to discuss further, please contact our professional & helpful team.

Tel: 01788 560646 

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Rugby Osteopathic Centre, 69 Albert Street, Rugby
Warwickshire, CV21 2SN, Tel: 01788 560646, Fax:01788 571318