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How chiropractic therapy can help rotator cuff syndrome

The rotator cuff is a group of muscles covering your shoulder joint and attaching to your shoulder blade. It comprises four muscles and their tendons; the Supraspinatus, Infraspinatus, Teres minor, and Subscapularis (SITS). The rotator cuff tendons and muscles stabilize your shoulder and allow a full range of movement and flexibility.

The rotator cuff muscles and tendons are exposed to rotator cuff tears, tendinopathy, rotator cuff impingement, and related rotator cuff injuries. Rotator cuff injuries vary from mild tendon inflammation (rotator cuff tendonitis), shoulder bursitis (inflamed bursa) and calcific tendinopathy (bone-forming within the rotator cuff tendon). More significant injuries include partial and full-thickness rotator cuff tears, which may require rotator cuff surgery.

Some shoulder rotator cuff injuries are more common than others. These include: Shoulder Impingement. Shoulder Tendinopathy. Shoulder Bursitis (a fluid-filled sac that provides a cushion between a bone and tissues). Calcific Tendonitis. Rotator Cuff Tear. Bicipital Tendinopathy.

What causes a rotator cuff injury?

Your rotator cuff tendons protect themselves, from simple knocks and bumps, by overlaying bones (mainly the acromion). In between the rotator cuff tendons and the bony arch is the subacromial bursa (a lubricating sack), which protects the tendons from touching the bone and provides a smooth surface that your tendon glides over. However, nothing is fool-proof. These structures can be injured whether they be your bones, muscles, tendons, ligaments or bursas.

Rotator cuff impingement syndrome is when your rotator cuff tendons are intermittently trapped and compressed during shoulder movements. Impingement causes injury to the shoulder tendons and bursa, resulting in painful shoulder movements.

What are the symptoms of rotator cuff syndrome?

While each exact rotator cuff injury has its particular symptoms and signs, you can suspect a rotator cuff injury if you have: An arc of shoulder pain or clicking when your arm is at shoulder height or when your arm is overhead. Shoulder pain can extend from the top of your shoulder to your elbow. Shoulder pain when lying on your sore shoulder. Shoulder pain at rest (with more severe rotator cuff injuries). Shoulder muscle weakness or pain when attempting to reach or lift. Shoulder pain when putting your hand behind your back or head. Shoulder pain reaching for a seat belt.

Chiropractic care can help with rotator cuff syndrome

If you have a rotator cuff injury, you are probably frustrated by your inability to perform daily tasks due to stiffness or chronic pain and inflammation. The good news is that chiropractic care provides relief without medication or surgery. Chiropractic care can rehabilitate your rotator cuff, which will relieve your pain and restore full function to your joint.

Nerve pinching and tears occur with rotator cuff injuries. When your rotator cuff is injured, you lose the ability to move your arm or shoulder in a circle. You may find it intensely painful or physically impossible to move your arm to the side or straight upward. Your nerves may be pinched and inflamed, which will result in severe pain. Often expert chiropractic care can help you avoid the need for surgery.

Chiropractors form a custom plan for your rehabilitation, since every rotator cuff injury is unique. They will carefully consider the right kind of treatment for you and work hard to alleviate your inflammation and pain, coming up with a plan that may include the following: Ultrasound waves to penetrate deeply into your muscles and calm them. Electrostimulation therapy to shoot painless electric waves through your muscles to help them relax. Spinal manipulation to restore balance to improperly aligned muscles. Special exercises designed to increase flexibility, strength, and range of motion in your rotator cuff muscles. Application of heat and ice to reduce inflammation

Your treatment may also involve a shoulder readjustment, which will restore functionality. The chiropractor will use specific massages and relaxation techniques to rehabilitate shoulder muscles to full capability. Chiropractic care will also reduce the possibility of scar tissue buildup, which can cause chronic pain and stiffness if untreated. Moreover, timely chiropractic treatments will reduce the chances of arthritis developing in the shoulder joint. Chiropractic treatments for rotator cuff injuries are safe and non-invasive, and may even help you to avoid a dangerous dependence upon prescription painkillers. You will be able to perform daily tasks that involve raising your arm again with no more pain or stiffness.

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