Injuries to the rotator cuff are common in both athletes and the general public. They can come on suddenly due to injury (acute) or can develop over time (chronic). The rotator cuff is made up of 4 muscles that act to stabilise the ball of the humerus into the socket or glenoid of the scapula which makes up your shoulder joint. Due to the large amount of movement available at the shoulder the muscle of the rotator cuff have to function well to allow both suitable movement and appropriate stability.

The most common injuries we see in clinic are:
• Impingment syndromes
• Tears of the rotator cuff
• Rotator cuff tendinopathies

Classically a rotator cuff condition will present with shoulder pain when your arm is around shoulder height and above, muscle weakness and or pain when lifting or reaching and is often painful to lay on. Some of the common causes include lifting heavy objects, trauma, poor scapula control, slouched forward posture, muscular imbalances between the chest and back, overuse and general wear and tear.

Anatomical diagram of the rotator cuff muscles of the shoulder

Role of a Sports Chiropractor:
Once a diagnosis is made to your specific rotator cuff injury (which may warrant imaging) a course of treatment and rehab can commence. Depending on severity, some conditions may be referred for surgical evaluation. Although each different condition requires a slightly different treatment, the aim will be to restore the full range of motion to the shoulder, develop proper scapular function, strengthen the rotator cuff and correct any postural issues affecting shoulder function.