Rotator Cuff Injury
Anatomy of Rotator cuff
Rotator cuff is made of four muscles S.I.T.S (Supraspinatus, Infraspinatus, Teres minor, and Subscapularis). These muscles originate from scapula (shoulder blade), come together to form the rotator cuff tendon that runs from your shoulder joint, and insert into greater and lesser tubercle of humerus (Long arm bone).
With the help of joint capsule, ligaments and labrum, the rotator cuff muscles are important dynamic stabilizers and movers of the shoulder joint in abduction, internal rotation, and external rotation.
Some causes for rotator cuff tear or tendonitis.
- Repetitive overhead activities, this can be sport related or work related.
- Falling on your shoulder
- Using your arm to break a fall
- Heavy lifting.
If you did not seek proper medical attention, pain can get worst and over time can cause weakness of the affected arm.
To diagnose: MRI, X-ray, or CT scan to confirm the diagnosis and to rule out any fractures.
Some Physical Exams can be perform by your physician or Physical Therapist to pin point which rotator cuff might be injured.
Some physical Exams:
Bear Hug Test: To assess the integrity of the subscapularis muscle, which is one of the rotator cuff muscle.
Belly Press Test: To assess the integrity of the subscapularis muscle, which is one of the rotator cuff muscle.
Dropping sign Test: To assess the integrity of Teres Minor muscle. This test specifically targets the Teres Minor muscle and shoulder impingement syndrome
Empty Can Test: To assess the integrity of Supraspinatus muscle and shoulder impingement syndrome
Hornblower’s Sign Test: This test specifically targets Teres Minor and Infraspinatus, muscles that externally rotate the shoulder.
Neer’s Impingement: This test is used to diagnose shoulder impingement syndrome, integrity of the labrum and the rotator cuff muscles.
Hawkin’s Kennedy Impingement Test: This test is used to diagnose shoulder impingement syndrome, integrity of the labrum and the rotator cuff muscles.
What you should do:
If this is an acute injury, best to start with PRICE (Protection, Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation)
This will bring down the inflammation.
- Gentle stretching for the shoulder
- Light strengthening exercise
- Myofascial release to help break down the scar tissue and improve healing process.
- Manual Therapy performed by your physical therapist.
- Therapeutic Ultrasound.