Shoulder Pain - Rotator Cuff Strains and Tears


This is a common injury across the population but typically more common in people over the age of 30. Risk factors include occupations that are repetitive, people who do a lot of overhead work, or throwing. Sports where the rotator cuff is commonly injured includes basketball and volleyball, as well as cricket and baseball. This is typically a degenerative injury or an overuse injury, however in cases can happen when lifting heavy things or awkward landings in a sporting scenario.


Signs and symptoms of a rotator cuff strain or tear.


Pain over the top and side of the shoulder. Popping or tearing sensation at moment of injury. Pain is aggravated by leaning on elbow and pushing pressure up into the joint space. Can have swelling on acute injuries – not necessarily chronic or degenerative injuries. Pain at night – particularly laying on the shoulder. Weakness is usually present – may have a grinding sensation with movement.


So what if you have a tear and it is painful?


That’s where I come in! Through the aid of manual therapy and remedial massage I will endeavour to strengthen the shoulder and return functionality, and of course reduce pain along the way. A typical tendon injury can take 2-4 weeks to repair but a minor belly strain may only take a week or so, and you will notice steady improvement with treatment quite quickly.


In severe and unrelenting injuries orthopedic intervention may sometimes be required, but this is unlikely and only a last resort. Occasionally a cortisone injection may be tried to reduce pain in serious cases.