The Rotator Cuff refers to a group of 4 muscles located around the shoulder area. Their job is very important in that they help to stabilise the head of the Humerus (your arm bone) but they are often a very under developed and over worked structural complex.
The Rotator Cuff consists of the Supraspinatus, Infraspinatus, Sub-Scapularis and the Teres Major/Minor. Each of these has their own specific function but it is becoming increasingly well known that they very rarely work in complete isolation.
Our Approach to Care
The most commonly irritated muscle is the Supraspinatus and this is what can sometimes be referred to as ‘shoulder impingement syndrome’ (click here for more information on this). In a close second though, usually, is the Infraspinatus muscle. These two muscles are commonly weak or tight because the more superior and larger muscle ‘the Deltoid’ (main shoulder muscle) takes over a lot of the actions that the Rotator Cuff should be doing. Then, when we rely on it to help us out the Rotator Cuff complex is too weak so becomes irritated and stiff to add the stability that we so desperately need.
More often than not rotator cuff issues can be managed conservatively with specific rehabilitation exercises and manual therapy.