Total Health

Can a Chiropractor help with rotator cuff pain?

March 17th, 2023 by
Category: Dr. Anu Premasuriya Shoulder pain

health practitor performing shoulder assessment on patient

Your shoulders are one of the most mobile joints of your body, but this mobility comes with a cost. They are prone to injury due to this flexibility. 

One of the most common shoulder complaints is rotator cuff injuries. Your rotator cuff muscles function around the shoulder and the shoulder blade. Four muscles make up the shoulder cuff: the supraspinatus, infraspinatus, teres minor and subscapularis. All four of these muscles need to be working together for your shoulder to function appropriately.  There are two major rotator cuff injuries – rotator cuff strain and rotator cuff tendonitis.

Why do shoulder cuff injuries occur?

Any activity that requires you to lift your arms up high above your head may cause injury. Rotator cuff injuries can occur from over-exertion or a large sudden force.

Rotator cuff injury symptoms

Common symptoms of a rotator cuff injury can include:

  • Shoulder pain and pain radiating from the shoulder to the arm 
  • Muscle weakness of the arms and shoulders
  • Limited movement of the arm
  • Grating and clicking noises of the shoulder when moved
  • Discomfort when laying on the injured shoulder

What can happen if you leave a rotator cuff injury untreated?

If the rotator cuff injury is left untreated for a long period of time, the injury may progress. The injury may become severe and you may lose much of the shoulder’s mobility.

Can Chiropractic help with rotator cuff injuries?

A Chiropractor can assess and may be able to help greatly with rotator cuff injuries. The Chiropractor will work on realigning the affected joint/s with Chiropractic adjustments. They will also go through exercises that will be customised for the specific issue to increase flexibility, movement and strength. 

Simple tips to help with rotator cuff pain

  • Ice can be applied to reduce inflammation
  • Taping or bracing can be utilized to help stabilize the joint
  • Gentle movements can be used to get the joint more mobile

Tips to help prevent rotator cuff injuries

Prevention is key. Some tips to prevent rotator cuff injuries include: 

  • Being aware of the potential for injury if you play overhead sports or if your daily activities involve lifting things overhead
  • If there is any shoulder pain, get it checked by a health professional as soon as possible 

When may a Chiropractor refer you to another health professional?

A Chiropractor may refer you onward if the condition has an underlying cause that cannot be treated by a Chiropractor or if the condition requires assistance from another health practitioner.

Rotator cuff injuries are very common and can be debilitating. It is important to know what can be done to help with the condition and prevention is key. Consider a Chiropractor if you feel like your shoulders are not positioned correctly or if there is shoulder pain present. 


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