Your friendly Chiropractor in Chandler AZ, Dr. Dan Rae, is back at the computer this afternoon trying to catch up on all the things that got pushed aside during the holiday season.  Today I want to address a condition known as a Rotator Cuff Tear or a Strained Rotator Cuff.  This is something that I see quite often because I have come to be known in the community here as somewhat of a shoulder guru.


The rotator cuff is made up of four different muscles known as the supraspinatus, infraspinatus, teres minor, and subscapularis, also known as the SITS muscles.  The most common tears occur in the supraspinatus.  There is typically two different areas where the tears occur in the supraspinatus.  One occurs where the arm and shoulder blade form a joint known as the articular sided tear, and the other occurs next the fluid-filled sac known as bursa, which would make it the bursal sided tear.  Most partial tears are articular sided and may be related to poor blood flow to the area.  Tears can be due to trauma, but most often they are due to chronic degenerative changes to the tendon.  Thus, leading to patients complaining of shoulder pain, but they do not know why they have shoulder pain because they have not experienced any trauma.

The patients that I see in my office generally give some sort of history of an acute traumatic event such as lifting a heavy object or a fall on an outstretched arm.  Older patients may not even recall any sort of traumatic event.  These individuals usually complain of pain with overhead activities or weakness in lifting the arm.

Partial tears can be treat in my office with great results.  We do this by implementing soft-tissue therapies such as Active Release Technique (ART) and Graston Technique to stimulate the healing process.  Kinesiology Tape is also used to help encourage the muscles to function properly as well as stabilize the shoulder.  Rehabilitation begins with isometric exercises gradually leading to to a strengthening program.  Complete tears usually require surgical repair in younger individuals.

If you are struggling with Shoulder Pain, call my office today (480) 366-4041.  We can Help!