The rotator cuff is an incredibly important and complex part of the shoulder that often causes shoulder pain either from a new injury or even something that happened years ago. It is usually injured while playing sports, but can also be damaged from everyday life such as lifting a box awkwardly, or in an accident.
Since the rotator cuff is such an important part of the shoulder, it should be treated as soon as possible because your quality of life can be drastically affected by the lack of mobility and pain that you experience as a result of this serious shoulder injury. When you are thinking of getting treatment, the obvious choice is to see your chiropractor. In most cases, they will be able to rehabilitate the muscles that work with the rotator cuff and restore full mobility to the shoulder. In rare cases surgery may be required.
The 4 muscles of rotator cuff are:
- Supraspinatus which initiates abduction
- Infraspinatus which externally rotates
- Teres Minor also externally rotates
- Subscapularis and allows internal rotation
They can be remembered by the acronym SITS
Your chiropractor will use a combination of the Graston technique and Active release technique to treat your rotator cuff problems. The Graston technique uses a set of metal tools to increase blood flow to the muscles of the shoulder and warm it up. Then the chiropractor will use active release techniques to treat the muscle he suspects is causing the problem. He does this by putting pressure on the muscle while you move your arm with the motion that corresponds to that particular muscle. By doing this, the muscle will begin to heal and your mobility will be restored after several sessions. You can not expect to be healed overnight with just one session. It could take months before you regain full use and motion of your shoulder, so you need to be persistent.
The alternative to a chiropractor, is a medical doctor, who will almost certainly want to prescribe you some sort of drug so they can collect a fee. This is to be avoided at all costs, since drugs only seem to treat the pain you are feeling and do nothing to get at the root of the problem.
Here is a demonstration of how one chiropractor treats rotator cuff problems in his clinic. This is only a demonstration, so the treatment he shows you is a lot shorter than normal. You would expect your session to last at least a half an hour.