Rotator Cuff Impairment

Well done! You’ve taken the first steps to understanding and relieving your Rotator Cuff Impairment! Once you read this page answer the questions on the sheet given by your physiotherapist at Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy Australia and bring that to your next treatment session. Recovery from your Rotator Cuff Impairment is crucial in order to achieve your goals and gain rapid and long-lasting results. Your physiotherapist at Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy Australia has requested that you read this page so that you understand your condition and know how to best manage in between physiotherapy consultations. Rotator Cuff Impairment

What is Rotator Cuff Impairment?

Rotator Cuff Injury Illustration The two main “ball and socket” joints in your body are your hip joint, and your shoulder joint. The hip joint is a very stable joint, decreasing the range of motion of the joint by increasing the bony surfaces and ligamentous material, and therefore making it less prone to injury and/or dislocation. The shoulder joint, by comparison, is required to be a very mobile joint. Because of the mobility of the shoulder joint, it sacrifices the stability gained through bony and ligamentous structure. It therefore relies on the Rotator Cuff, a series of four muscles that work together to provide the joint with relative stability, while not sacrificing mobility. Rotator Cuff Impairment happens when one of more of these muscles becomes weak or injured, and can no longer perform its duties adequately. This can lead to a whole host of subsequent shoulder injuries or conditions.  

What caused my Rotator Cuff Impairment?

Rotator Cuff Impairment may be caused by injury to the area, or weakness due to degeneration or inactivity. Injury can occur occasionally even with minor trauma to the area. Rotator Cuff degeneration is very common in people over the age of 65, and is often completely symptom-free, apart from some loss of shoulder range of motion.  

How can you help me with my Rotator Cuff Impairment?

A detailed history, taken by your Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy Australia Clinician, of the pain or injury can determine the underlying cause of your Rotator Cuff Impairment, while a physical assessment of the shoulder, and surrounding structures, can determine the best course of action in treating the condition. Usually, treatment will involve correcting any abnormal movements of the shoulder, and increasing the subacromial space (the space between the roof of the “socket”, and the “ball” of the shoulder joint), to reduce the any impingement of the tendons of the supraspinatus, and less commonly the infraspinatus, two of the Rotator Cuff muscles.  

What should I do to avoid aggravating my Rotator Cuff Impairment?

  • AVOID overhead activities, particularly during the acute phase.
  • DO concentrate on maintaining good, erect posture, particularly during activities with that involve the shoulders.
  • Applying non-steroidal anti-inflammatories may help to reduce pain in the short term. CONSULT your PHARMACIST regarding their use.
  • REMAIN ACTIVE, but avoid aggravating activities.
  • RECEIVE physiotherapy care to get your joints, ligaments and muscles de-loaded and moving freely with no restrictions.
Keep good care of your body and your physiotherapist will continue to monitor your condition. Once your Rotator Cuff Impairment has resolved you will be able to resume your full activities without worrying about future flare-ups.

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