Rotator Cuff Injuries

March 2016 Rotator Cuff Injuries


The rotator cuff is a group of muscles that surround the shoulder like a cuff. It provides stability to the joint and importantly provides the power and precision we need during movement of our upper limb.

Its no wonder when we injury this delicate muscle group that it elicits significant pain resulting in poor movement function with the inability to perform our normal activities of daily living.

Injuries to the rotator cuff can occur via the following:

  1. after a fall
  2. from an unaccustomed activity
  3. overuse
  4. degenerative


Injury severity can range from tendinosis (inflammatory), to a minor strain or a full blown tear. Whatever the severity, more often these problems respond well to conservative treatment. Only in the case of an acute large rotator cuff tear should a surgical option be considered from the outset.

Physiotherapy treatment involves a detailed assessment followed by hands on treatment and a specific home exercise program tailored to the individuals needs. Each shoulder condition is different and must be treated accordingly. Exercises will incorporate improving your range of motion and strength. Strength training will use the assistance of weights and theraband (elastic band resistance).

Sometimes, you may need the input of a steroid injection to assist in your rehabilitation. Your physiotherapist will best judge that depending on your progress.