Rotator Cuff Problems

The rotator cuff is made up of four muscles of which encompass the shoulder. They act to stabilise and provide rotational movement of the arm. When these muscles become inflamed they can become injured and painful.The shoulder joint is a ball in socket type joint made up of the arm, and shoulder blade. It is the rotator cuff that holds these two together.  Inflammation often occurs in sports requiring the arm to be moved over the head repetitively, for example; tennis, swimming and weight lifting.This group of muscles can further be injured through trauma in which the shoulder is forced into an awkward position or from falling on to an outstretched hand.Symptoms of a rotator cuff injury include:

  • Pain with arm movement; in particularly with overhead activities.
  • Pain at night, especially lying on the injured side.
  • Weakness with raising arm above the head and difficulty with activities such as brushing hair, reaching for objects etc.
  • A loss of range of motion of shoulder.


The Physiotherapist will most likely assess your strength, range of motion and palpate around the shoulder region. This will include trying to provoke the symptoms that you are having at home. The Physio will look and check for pain with resistance and for the signs there could be narrowing of the shoulder space causing chronic inflammation.

Treatment involves addressing both the current symptoms but also the underlying biomechanical deficiency that lead to the injury.  The initial treatment is to rest from aggravating activities and icing the region to reduce and control the inflammation and pain.

Our Physiotherapist will prescribe a strengthening programme aimed at rehabilitating the injured muscle and attending to the causative factors such as poor posture.

Leave a reply