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  • What to do with Rotator Cuff Tears

    woman shoulder pain, monochrome
    How many of us have heard “Oh you have a partial tear in your rotator cuff.”, but what does that mean for you, the person with a rotator cuff tear?!?!
    First lets review the anatomy. The shoulder is a ball and socket joint that allows us 360 degrees of motion. Due to this fact, it is more susceptible to instability , weakness and injury. Shoulder rotation is mostly controlled by 4 main muscles called the rotator cuff muscles. The four muscles are the infraspinatus and teres minor(internal rotators), subscapularis (external rotator0 and supraspinatus(abductor).
    We are primarily going to funs on the supraspinatus. This muscle has a very narrow tendon and in 85% of cases is the muscle involved. When this muscle tears you get a lot of inflammation in the socket, this is your bodies response whenever it detects a damaged tissue.
    So now what? My supraspinatus is torn what do I do?? Well in 90% of cases this muscle can be rehabilitated without surgery and you will maintain 99% of functionality without weakness and pain even with a complete tear. The reason for this is our bodies ability to adapt to changing environments. When the supraspinatus is torn your deltoids work a little bit harder to balance out a partially or completely torn muscle.
    The first step is to regain full functionality. Never underestimate the power of REST! This is the most important part of the healing process, however, during this time it is important to do pain free ranges of motion and TENS.
    Step two, see a chiropractor or physiotherapist to get manual therapy done. Studies show that  rotator cuff injuries, rehabilitation speeds up the healing process immensely.  Radial shockwave, Active Release and acupuncture al effective methods to rehabilitate the shoulder.
    As an aside one piece of advice I always give patients with tears is NEVER DO CORTISONE!. Eventhough cortisone temporarily decreases inflammation and pain, in the longer term it breaks down the tendons muscles and ligaments in the joint creating more instability and weakness in the future.
    So Rest, pain free ROM, TENs and SEE A PROFESSIONAL MANUAL THERAPIST (ie. Chiropractor and Physiotherapist)
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