The rotator cuff is made up of 4 muscles that surround your shoulder joint. Supraspinatus-initiates the first 15 degrees of abduction of the arm, Infraspinatus- used to externally rotate the arm, Teres Minor- aides in keeping the humeral head in the place and helps with external rotation, finally Subscapularis-holds the humeral head in place and aides with internal rotation. All of these muscles are used for internal, external and scaption movements of the arm. The rotator cuff is there for stabilization of the shoulder capsule and works with smaller movements.
A tear of the rotator cuff may be caused in a number of ways. Falling with an outstretched hand to brace a fall, lifting heavy objects without proper shoulder joint placement or bone spurs that grow from the shoulder blade and cut or tear muscle fibers. Injury to the rotator cuff increases in incidence with age. People who perform repetitive overhead movements on a daily basis are more prone to this injury as well.
Painter, carpenters, baseball and tennis players are commonly seen with tears of the rotator cuff. Complications from recovery may occur. When immobilizing the arm the connective tissue may tighten around the joint and lead to further range of motion lose or even frozen shoulder.
Reduce the movements that cause pain, sleep on unaffected side and ice daily will help reduce the pain and inflammation. Steer clear of all overhead movements until pain has cleared. With severe or complete tears of the cuff surgical intervention may be warranted.
Most injuries of this type have great results with conservative care and just need time to heal. If pain worsens following these instructions consult with your chiropractor or other medical professional. The team at Northern Edge Chiropractic in Plymouth, MN can help.