Georgiy Sekretaryuk
August 14, 2015
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Understanding the Rotator Cuff: Common Shoulder Injuries & Treatment

I have a Rotator what?

Rotator who? Rotator what? Recently, I have encountered numerous patients asking about their rotator Cuff, specifically, tears, pulls and strains. But what is a Rotator Cuff? Is it that new fancy kitchen wear item off The Shopping Channel for $9.99? Can I buy another one if mine tears, pulls or strains?

Muscles in each shoulder

In fact, the Rotator Cuff (one in each shoulder) is composed of four separate muscles that work together that allow us to pull, push, lift, and yes….rotate our shoulder. Whether you’re a professional athlete, avid gardener or a busy stay at home parent, your rotator cuff is vital to your everyday function.


The four muscles that collectively make up the rotator cuff, easily remembered by the acronym “S.I.T.S”, which stands for Supraspinatus, Infraspinatus, Teres Minor, and Subscapularis. The glenohumeral joint, otherwise known as the shoulder joint is best described by as a golf ball (Head of the humerus) resting on a golf tee (glenoid fossa). For the golfers out there, we know that a sudden gust of wind or even a gentle nudge of the club will knock our ball off the tee. Now, imagine four strips of duck tape anchored to the tee and attached to the ball, the ball can still move but is pretty secure. That is exactly what the rotator cuff does, it allows movement but more importantly takes a relatively unstable joint and forms a secured one.

Rotator cuff injury

Normally, the rotator cuff muscles work diligently but quietly in the background. It is not until things go wrong however that we take notice of their tremendous importance. The most frequent injury of the rotator cuff is an increase of inflammation of one or more of the tendons, commonly referred to as “Tendinitis”. This can result from trauma, repetitive motions and even poor technique in the gym causing pain, weakness and loss of function.

Treatment A.R.T.

A very powerful and effective technique Chiropractors utilize to treat rotator cuff injuries is Active Release Technique (A.R.T). When a muscle, tendon, ligament or nerve is damaged through trauma such as a Motor vehicle accident or an over use injury such as sports, the body will repair it with scar tissue.  This is the mechanism the body repairs and heals it’s self. Unfortunately, too much scar tissue results in muscles, tendons and nerves sticking together which can result in pain, stiffness, numbness and tingling.  ART is a technique developed and used by Chiropractors not only to relieve the pain but also heal the injury. For more information please contact our ART certified Chiropractor for an assessment today.

Experience Absolute PhysioCare physiotherapy

If you would like to book an assessment with a chiropractor or sports physiotherapist, or if you have any questions, feel free to contact us at Burnaby Sports Physio Clinic! We will develop a custom treatment plan that will address both healing and strengthening of your body, so your body will function at its optimum level as quickly as possible.


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