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ROTATOR CUFF RELATED SHOULDER PAIN

What is rotator cuff related shoulder pain (RCRSP)?

The shoulder is a relatively unstable ball and socket joint that is stabilised and moved by a group of four muscles known as the rotator cuff.  These four muscles are called the supraspinatus, subscapularis, infraspinatus and teres minor.  

Rotator cuff related shoulder pain is an umbrella term that covers a range of shoulder conditions affecting the rotator cuff muscles including sub-acromial pain (impingement),  sub-acromial bursitis, tendinopathy, partial and full thickness tears.

It is estimated that 14% of the UK population suffer from rotator cuff related shoulder pain (RCRSP).

What causes rotator cuff related shoulder pain?

There are many different causes of rotator cuff related shoulder pain such as trauma, posture, sport, congenital structural changes, muscle imbalance and in some cases there is no obvious cause.

What are the symptoms of rotator cuff related shoulder pain?

  •     shoulder pain that can refer into the upper arm

  •     pain increases when lying on the problematic shoulder

  •     shoulder pain putting your hand up your back

  •     increased shoulder pain with reaching above shoulder height

  •     shoulder pain when taking clothes off overhead

  •     increased shoulder pain putting the arm into a jacket

How to treat rotator cuff related shoulder pain?

High quality research shows that graduated and suitable exercises have the same benefit as surgery for rotator cuff related shoulder pain.  A Physiotherapist will identify the cause and type of injury of the rotator cuff and prescribe individually tailored exercises.