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 Ryde Chiropractor in Focus: Rotator Cuff Injuries


Chiropractors as well as many health professionals see plenty of shoulder injuries, particularly involving a group of muscles called the ‘Rotator Cuff’. The term rotator cuff is used to describe the four main stabilising muscles of the shoulder. Given the shoulder joint is the most unstable joint in our body, the muscles of the rotator cuff have an important role in maintaining shoulder stability and integrity. Injuries of the rotator cuff tend to occur in sport related activities, particularly in young athletes, and can also occur with repetitive overhead movement or a fall on an outstretched hand. However, the population most affected by rotator cuff injuries is the over-50’s age group.

As we get older, the tendon that attaches the rotator cuff muscles to the upper arm become thinner and more avascular. This reduction in blood flow results in an increased likely hood of fraying and even tearing the rotator cuff tendon. When presented with a patient complaining of shoulder pain, a Chiropractor is able to clinically diagnose whether the patient is suffering from a rotator cuff pathology. Once a clinical diagnose is determined, your Chiropractor may refer you for imaging to confirm the extent of the injury.

Generally, conservative management which involves rehabilitative exercise and manual therapy is the recommended option in most cases of rotator cuff injuries. Your Chiropractor will aim to achieve three main goals during rotator cuff rehabilitation;

  1. Protection: immobilise the shoulder for a period of up to 6 weeks
  2. Regain mobility: Begin shoulder mobility exercises to regain movement
  3. Regain strength: Begin pain free shoulder strength training and progress appropriately.

However, when the rotator cuff injury is severe and significantly impacts on the patient’s quality of life, particularly in the younger population, a Chiropractor would refer the patient to an orthopaedic specialist to explore possible surgical options.

If you are concerned about an injury or feel you are not movement as well as you could, please feel free to give us a call at Back to Health Clinic, Ryde on 9874 1519.


Back to Health Clinic Team


Exercise Physiology

269 Ryedale Road,