Many people come to The AIMS Clinic suffering with a shoulder problem. Their sleep may be disturbed, especially when lying on the affected shoulder. Others may find it difficult to do simple tasks – such as combing or brushing their hair or reaching behind their back to lift something up. Whether arm weakness is experienced or there is a dull ache deep in the shoulder, it is imperative to have the arm/shoulder evaluated by a trained professional. At The AIMS Clinic, we have a Team of Experts – Medical Doctors, Physical Therapists, Chiropractors, an Acupuncturist and Registered Dietitian to help eliminate pain and restore function.
What to do for Rotator Cuff Injury
At our Clinic, a member of our Healthcare Team will review your health history, conduct a thorough physical and muscular examination and evaluate tests designed to pinpoint the cause of a shoulder problem. Based on results, additional testing may be necessitated – such as a MRI or CT.
If it has been established that you have a rotator cuff injury, it is important to understand why the injury occurred. This begins with an understanding of the mechanics of the rotator cuff:
- The rotator cuff consists of a group of muscles and tendons that surround the shoulder joint. It connects the upper arm (humerus) to the shoulder blade (scapula). The third bone associated with the rotator cuff is the clavicle (shoulder bone).
- The rotator cuff tendons provide stability to the shoulder.
- Rotator cuff muscles allow the shoulder to rotate. There are four muscles in the rotator cuff: teres minor, infraspinatus, supraspinatus and subscapularis.
The next step is to determine the reason for your pain. There are several factors or causes that result in a shoulder problem – such as a rotator cuff tear.
- Degeneration of aging can lead to a low blood supply.
- Overuse or overhead motions can cause the rotator cuff to fatigue. Examples include painting, washing cars or playing golf.
- Excessive force when lifting a heavy object or catching a falling object can tear rotator cuff tendons that may already be weak.
Rotator Cuff Therapy
The good news is that many people recover from a shoulder injury with physical therapy, chiropractic and/or acupuncture. Early treatment is vital to speed healing and avoid permanent damage. Our initial focus is to reduce inflammation and pain. Then, to correct imbalances, prevent a reoccurrence and have you return to your regular activities.
Physical therapy offers a multitude of treatment options for a rotator cuff injury based upon findings, patient lifestyle and goals. Some patients come to The AIMS Clinic before surgery to help minimize pain and swelling, some after surgery – seeking postsurgical rehabilitation and others are desperately trying to avoid surgery.
A customized treatment program of physical therapy to strengthen the rotator cuff and other muscles used to support the shoulder joint may start with gentle range-of-motion and strengthening exercises, as well as using therapeutic resistance bands. In addition, physical activity modifications will be discussed to place less stress on the shoulder during recovery. Physical Therapists, as well as Chiropractors utilize electric muscle stimulation, ultrasound, heat and ice to reduce pain and inflammation.
Often, Physical Therapy is combined with Chiropractic to maximize relief and speed healing. Chiropractic hands-on treatment may include gentle joint adjustments and manipulation to the shoulder joint and spine. To help break down scar tissue and adhesions, muscle massage and release techniques are utilized. These techniques will also help to restore normal length and elasticity to muscles, ligaments and tendons. To help improve the nearby joints and muscles associated with the shoulder blade, various exercises are done in office and at home. To maintain the success of a patient’s chiropractic care, workstation recommendations and lifestyle options are provided.
Many patients incorporate Acupuncture into their shoulder pain therapy program. Acupuncture helps to restore proper circulation (nourishment) to the shoulder by removing an obstruction of the flow of energy and blood to that area. It can be extremely effective in healing the injury and improving strength and flexibility. Often, pain and inflammation are reduced, along with a speedier recovery.
If you are suffering with a rotator cuff injury or seeking relief from a shoulder problem, The AIMS Clinic can create a customized program to help you return to an active lifestyle. AIMS rotator cuff therapy often integrates several treatment options. Discover the synergistic approach we offer! Call us today at (732) 254-5553.