seattle chiropractic care for rotator cuff shoulder pain

Seattle Chiropractor, Chiropractic care, proper lifting, rotator cuff injury, shoulder pain


Rotator Cuff Strength

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Your rotator cuff plays a role in your body’s mobility. If you lift anything above your head or  move your arms, you’re putting your rotator cuff to work. In today’s blog, I’m sharing information about what they do, why we want them to be strong, and how chiropractic care can keep them functioning.

First – what is the rotator cuff. It’s not like a shirt cuff – at all. It’s a group of four muscles that surround the glenohumeral joint. That’s the joint where your humerus meets your shoulder. Like your hip, this joint is a ball-and-socket joint. The four muscles of the rotator cuff are: Supraspinatus, Infraspinatus, Teres Minor and Subscapularis.

Each muscle of the rotator cuff enables specific movements of the shoulder but together the muscles also work to stabilize the glenohumeral joint and prevent larger muscle groups from dislocating the humerus from the shoulder joint.

The Supraspinatus muscle works to elevate the shoulder and help raise your arms out away from your body. Infraspinatus and Teres Minor work to externally rotate the shoulder and help aid in bringing your arms back in toward your body. Subscapularis helps medially rotate your arm.

You want a strong rotator cuff because these muscles function to help reinforce the shoulder joint capsule. When the rotator cuff muscles are weak that leaves the shoulder more prone to injury and joint stability issues.

Improving rotator cuff strength and increasing joint mobility helps prevent degenerative rotator cuff injuries from repetitive movements, heavy lifting and decreases likelihood of having acute rotator cuff injuries.

There are several exercises you can do to increase our rotator cuff strength:

  • Side lying external rotation
  • Rows: High to low
  • Reverse Fly
  • Pendulum exercises
  • Lawnmower pulls across the body

Here are a few shoulder mobility stretches:

  • Doorway stretch
  • Wall angels
  • Cross-arm
  • Child’s pose

Chiropractors can help with the prevention and conservative treatment of rotator cuff issues. Diagnosis of rotator cuff injuries require physical exams and MRIs to diagnose the degree of injury and tissue/ligament damage. It is important to get a physical examination and imaging because severe damage to the rotator cuff may require surgical interventions.

In rotator cuff injuries where conservative treatment can be taken, chiropractors can help reduce restrictions in joint mobility, inflammation and help with rotator cuff strengthening exercises. Increasing flexibility in not only the shoulder joint but also the spine helps prevent further injury and degeneration.

Treatment for rotator cuff injuries includes exercises to help strengthen the muscles of the rotator cuff, stretches that help with flexibility and mobility of the muscles and structures around the shoulder and shoulder adjustments that help increase glenohumeral joint mobility and increase range of motion.

If you have concerns about your rotator cuff, give us a call at Lake Union Wellness – we can do a consultation and exam to plot the best treatment (if any) that you may need.

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