The shoulder is a ball and socket joint that has great mobility but at the sacrifice of structural stability; imagine the stability of a ball on a golf tee. The muscles that make up the rotator cuff of the shoulder are the supraspinatus, infraspinatus, teres minor, and subscapularis. These muscles work together to stabilize the shoulder.

The most common injury of the shoulder is to the rotator cuff. These injuries fall on a scale between a mild strain of one tendon to a complete tearing and rupture of multiple tendons of the rotator cuff. Injuries to the rotator cuff can come from a single traumatic incident or more commonly, from repetitive injury or age-related degeneration. 

The muscle that is most commonly injured is the supraspinatus, followed by the infraspinatus and the subscapularis. Repetitive overhead activities, such as sports like baseball, swimming, volleyball, and jobs such as carpentry, painting, window cleaning, etc., predisposes the shoulder to injury. Research has suggested that 95% of chronic rotator cuff tears are associated with anterior shoulder impingement syndrome (which we will go into more detail about on a later date). 

Conservative care should be the first course of treatment for non-traumatic tears of the rotator cuff. Treatment of rotator cuff injuries begins with activity modification, followed by stretching, strengthening, and mobilization of the shoulder. The combination of these treatments has proven to improve mobility and stability of the shoulder joint. 

Instrument assisted soft tissue mobilization may be used to prevent scar tissue formation. Spinal manipulation of the neck and upper back may also help to decrease shoulder pain and improve mobility and function. The use of kinesiology tape, such as RockTape, helps to stabilize the shoulder and influence blood flow so that you are ready for activities!

Your favorite Rochester chiropractor, Rush-Henrietta Family Chiropractic, is well equipped to treat rotator cuff injuries. With the change in the seasons and the return of sports, it is a common issue that we are seeing in the office. Chiropractic care will help get you out of pain and back to your activity as quickly as possible!