Rotator Cuff Syndrome & Shoulder Impingement

What is Rotator Cuff Syndrome & Shoulder Impingement?

shoulder-painThe best way to answer this question is to start by looking at the anatomy of the shoulder. The shoulder is actually comprised of 3 different joints. The “main” joint of the shoulder, the glenohumeral joint, is a ball and socket joint that allows the arm to rotate in a circular fashion or to hinge out and up away from the body. This intelligent design allows for a tremendous amount of mobility but this mobility comes with a price; namely, a lack of stability. The shoulder joint is easier to dislocate and injury because of this.

The shoulder joint relies heavily on the muscles of the rotator cuff for stability. In a rotator cuff syndrome, one or more of these muscles (or their tendons) has become injured. The injury can result from a number of different causes, and trauma is not required. In fact, like so many injuries, the patient is often unaware of the cause of the pain. Damage to the structures of the shoulder typically happen gradually over time due to repetitive stress, muscle imbalances and poor mechanics.

Signs of Rotator Cuff Syndrome & Shoulder Impingement:

  1. Painful movement of the shoulder, especially with reaching overhead, across the body or with rotating the shoulder.
  2. Crepitus, or noisy popping and cracking of the shoulder joint.
  3. Weakness or perceived weakness in the upper extremity.
  4. Pain, tingling or numbness in the upper extremity may indicate a shoulder problem.

How Can We Help?

First, a detailed diagnosis is important. Have your shoulder evaluated by a practitioner experienced with the treatment of shoulder injuries. Sooner is better than later. Chronic pain in a joint is never normal, and your likelihood of success with conservative therapies and rehabilitation is considerably better in the early stages of damage. Active Release Technique is an ideal treatment for these shoulder problems.

Next to back and neck pain, shoulder pain is the most common reason for patients to seek our help. Our doctors are trained in advanced soft tissue and rehabilitative techniques that have a proven track record of successful treatment of RCS and shoulder impingement without the use of drugs or surgery. Please contact us and see how we can help.