Rotator Cuff Tendinopathy

Let’s take a look at rotator cuff tears, or tendinopathy.

The rotator cuff is a group of 4 muscles which hold your arm to your shoulder blade. Despite their group name they do not cause much movement of the joint, rotation or otherwise; rather they stabilise and control the movement caused by other, larger muscles.

These muscles are particularly prone to overuse or repetitive injuries, traumatic tearing, or impingement from other structures. It can be cause by any repetitive action of the shoulder, fall onto the shoulder, or simply the process of aging. Often, the pain associated with this condition is experienced as an ache in the shoulder that increases to a sharper pain or catching pain with certain activities. Occasionally, pain may also be experienced in the upper arm, shoulder blade, upper back or neck. Weakness or a feeling of instability for the shoulder or arm, is often a hallmark of this condition. The POLICE protocol for tissue healing should be applied; with ice massage and the optimisation of the tissue load (rest, massage, gradual strengthening) being particularly useful forms of treatment for these conditions; whilst unresponsive cases may require steroid injections or even surgery.

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