rotator cuff

Rotator cuff injury – can we help?

What is a rotator cuff?

The rotator cuff consists of four muscles and tendons that help stabilize and hold your shoulder in place. It is one of the most important parts of your shoulder.

They aid in movement that requires you to raise your hands above your head and if this is done repeatedly it could lead to serious shoulder injury.

Your shoulders are among the most flexible joints in the body. Unfortunately, this flexibility come at a price as it is also easy to injure the shoulders because of how flexible they are.

Rotator cuff injuries are extremely common and unfortunately increase with age


Most often rotator cuff injuries are caused by progressive wear and tear of the tendons and surrounding tissues. Repetitive overhead activity or prolonged bouts of heavy lifting can irritate or damage the tendon. The tendons that connect muscles to bones can overstretch (strain) or tear, partially or completely. It can also be injured in a single incident of during falls or direct trauma.

They can range from mild to severe. They tend to fall into one of two categories:

  1. Tendinitis (acute)
  2. Tendinopathy (chronic)


These may be different for each person but include:

  • Pain that keeps coming back, especially when doing certain movements such as lifting over your head.
  • Grating or cracking sounds when moving your arm.
  • Progressive weakness of the shoulder.
  • Restricted movement of the arm.
  • Pain that prevents you from sleeping on your injured side.
  • Difficulty reaching behind your back.
  • Difficulty reaching out to the side.

Who is at risk?

Acute injuries usually occur from one particular incident. These can be caused by lifting objects that are too heavy, falling or having the shoulder forced into an awkward position. Young people are more likely to experience this type of rotator cuff injury.

Chronic injuries are due to long term overuse and wear and tear. Over time, these repeated activities cause inflammation in the shoulder and could lead to a rotator cuff injury.

The following factors may increase the risk of having this type of injury:

  • Age – the risk of a rotator cuff injury increases with age and are most common in people aged sixty or above.
  • Family history – there may be a genetic component involved with this type of injury as they appear to occur more commonly in certain families.
  • Certain sports – These types of injuries are more common in people who participate in sports like tennis, baseball, rounders, weightlifting and swimming thousands of yards a day.
  • Certain occupations – Painters, carpenters, window cleaners

Can Chiropractic treatment help?

The answer to that is – Yes of course!

The aim of Chiropractic treatment is to place the body in a position to do what it does naturally; by ensuring that the bones, ligaments, and tendons are properly aligned.

Your chiropractor will look at each rotator cuff injury individually and design a treatment plan that has been customised to meet the needs of each specific individual.

Apart from Chiropractic adjustments you will be given some exercises to do at home which will help strengthen the supporting structures around the rotator cuff, increasing flexibility and improving range of motion.

Advice will be given on the application of heat and ice to help reduce inflammation.

Your Chiropractor may recommend specific massages and relaxation techniques to rehabilitate shoulder muscles to their full capacity.

It will also reduce the possibility of scar tissue build up which can cause chronic pain and stiffness if left untreated, but more importantly, timely Chiropractic care will reduce the chances of arthritis developing in the shoulder joint!

If you would like some further information or to speak to a member of our team please call us on: Hitchin 01462 420077 or Luton 01582 579687, alternatively e-mail us at: or .