Rotator Cuff injury in the Shoulder

The rotator cuff is made up of four muscles in the shoulder that maintain the stability and integrity of the shoulder joint. They can tear, become inflamed or be impinged.

Injury is possible at any age either through sporting injury, (particularly racket sports, weight lifting, contact sports) work related injury (particularly in manual jobs) accidents or gradual onset from wear and tear.

Indications of a Rotator Cuff Injury

Restricted movement of the shoulder
Pain when brushing/washing hair
Pain when putting a jacket on
Pain when lying on the affected side
Aching pain in the top of the arm
Weakness in the arm especially when lifting the arm away from the body at around 90 degrees


Your Osteopath will perform some clinical tests to help diagnose the injury and rule out other possibilities. In most cases conservative treatment, work and lifestyle advice and rehabilitative exercises are sufficient to alleviate the problem.

In some cases a corticosteroid injection may be suitable, but only after other treatment options have been exhausted as steroid is damaging to the soft tissue and no more than 3 are allowed. So it is important to seek advice from your Osteopath before heading down that route.

In cases of severe damage surgery intervention may be necessary.

This article was by Caroline Jone the osteopath in Islington at the Angel Wellbeing Clinic. If you think you may have a rotator cuff injury or if you have a non diagnosed shoulder problem please click below to arrange an appointment at our Islington clinic.

By Caroline on 9th Apr 2015   Share |

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