Shoulder Rotator Cuff Injuries

The rotator cuff is made up of 4 muscles (supraspinatus, infraspinatus, subscapularis and teres minor) that surround the shoulder joint.  Its main function is to keep the head of the humerus (upper arm bone) firmly within the shallow socket of the shoulder. While these muscles are small and not that powerful, they play a critical role in how the shoulder moves. Without your rotator cuff, you would not be able to lift your arm very far from your side.

The rotator cuff takes a lot of abuse over a lifetime and tearing is very common as we age. Many factors can lead to a rotator cuff injury, such as sports injuries, falls onto the shoulder or arm, repetitive arm movements, poor posture or heavy lifting in awkward positions.

Rotator cuff tears can be minor, causing pain and inflammation, or major, which can require surgery. Our physiotherapists can help you recover from minor rotator cuff injuries but also help rehabilitate your shoulder after surgery.

How our physiotherapists can help

Often, with small tears, physical therapy can dramatically reduce your pain, improve your function and allow you to return to your active lifestyle. In this case, our physiotherapists will work with you to improve your shoulder range of motion, restore proper joint mobility, reduce inflammation, relieve pain and improve the strength of your rotator cuff.

If surgery is needed, we will follow your surgeon’s protocol on rehabilitation after the operation. The beginning of therapy will focus on reducing pain and education on how to protect the surgical repair.  Over time, range of motion is increased, joint mobility is returned and strength is restored. Book an appointment today to learn more about how we can help you recover from your rotator cuff injury!