Physiotherapy and Rotator Cuff Tears
Rotator cuff tears are the leading cause of shoulder pain in adults and can be caused by degenerative changes, repetitive movements or from injuries such as falling or dislocation. They are often left untreated which may cause more damage further down the track.
The rotator cuff is made up of 4 muscles – supraspinatus, infraspinatus, subscapularis and teres minor. They work together to provide stability to the shoulder joint and help with movements of the arm. So, if one or more of these muscles are damaged, it can lead to pain, weakness and stiffness in the shoulder.
In conjunction with X-rays, MRIs and ultrasounds, physiotherapists perform a clinical examination of the shoulder to diagnose a rotator cuff tear. We inspect and palpate the joint, look at the range of motion of the affected shoulder, test the strength and endurance of the muscles and perform several special tests to determine the best course of action to get you back to your pre-injury self.
How physiotherapy can help Rotator Cuff Tears:
- Reduce pain and muscle tension in the shoulder and neck region through pain advice and education, massage and postural adjustments
- Improve position of the shoulder joint in order to restore smooth movement of the arm
- Strengthen the muscles in and around the shoulder through progressive resistive strengthening and sports-related exercises
- Regain proprioception and automatic movements
Physiotherapy can help your shoulder pain through all stages of a rotator cuff tear whether it be pre-surgery, post-surgery or no surgery to help you get back to school, work, sports and living independently and pain-free.
Written by Tahlia Hensley our Brisbane based Physiotherapist.