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Rotator Cuff: Don’t Ignore Your Shoulder Pain!

Rotator Cuff: Don't Ignore Your Sore Shoulder!

So you’re having some discomfort trying to sleep on your side? Finding it difficult to reach up and take the clothes off the line? You may be suffering from a rotator cuff tear/tendinopathy. Ah well, if I leave it alone it will get better over time, right?

Wrong!

Studies have shown that not receiving treatment for this injury can lead to chronic pain and disability of the shoulder joint. Whereas, people who receive treatment from a Chiropractor or physiotherapist, show far better results in both the movement of their shoulder, and the strength of the shoulder muscles.

The rotator cuff is a group of four small muscles that attach themselves from the scapula (shoulder blade) to the humerus (Upper arm). They are responsible together for the dynamic stabilisation of our shoulder through its day to day movements. These four muscles include:

  1. Supraspinatus: This is the most commonly injured muscle of the rotator cuff and is
    responsible for lifting your arm to the side (abduction).
  2. Infraspinatus:  This muscle assists in the external rotation of the shoulder.
  3. Teres Minor:  The teres minor works with the infraspinatus to perform external
    rotation of the shoulder.
  4. Subscapularis: This muscle performs internal rotation of your shoulder joint.

Your risk of a rotator cuff injury significantly increases as you get older, with the >40 age group being the most at risk. This is because the blood supply to your tendons is reduced, leaving the tendon vulnerable to injury and less effective at repairing itself. It is also very common in throwing athletes or occupations that require a lot of repetitive overhead actions such as painters.

If you feel like this could be you, it is vital to get a proper assessment and diagnosis from your practitioner. Through specific tests we can figure out which muscle is most involved, and provide treatment and a specific rehab plan for you to follow. This gives you your best shot at recovering and regaining that movement you may have lost and hopefully allowing you to get a better night’s sleep.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact me!

Jack Worthington is a Chiropractor at Health Space Kingsford & Bondi Junction. Contact the clinic to book a consultation.

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