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A Painful Goodbye

Is raising your arm to wave goodbye to your friends and family painful? This may be caused by a problem with your rotator cuff.

The rotator cuff is formed by four muscles and the attached tendons that work around your shoulder to allow you to move your arm up, down and forwards and backwards. They provide strength and stability to your movements.  Effectively they wrap around from your scapula (shoulder bone) and attach the head of your humerus (the big bone at the top of your arm that forms the joint with your shoulder).

Many shoulder pain conditions are caused by injury to one or more of the rotator cuff muscles, or to the soft tissues around the shoulder joint.  This can include stiffness and reduced movement.  So if you get pain or find it difficult to complete movements such as:

  • Reaching for your seatbelt
  • Stretching up to get something off the top shelf
  • Installing ceiling tiles
  • Pulling a cord starter on your motor boat or lawnmower
  • Trying to hook up your bra
  • Putting your arms back to get into a fitted coat or shirt
  • Pulling a suitcase along

Or any similar movements; even sitting over a computer keyboard or driving for extended periods can cause problems.  It can get particularly bad when there have been tears in the muscles fibres and the resulting scar tissue restricts movement in the shoulder further.  The pain is your body shouting for help!

There is a treatment that will ease the restrictions and help the healing process to start.  It’s called myofascial release {MFR) and works on the soft tissues and the membrane that wraps them, releasing the points where things have got stuck.

MFR releases the trigger points that are preventing the muscles and their encasing fascia around the shoulder joint, neck and upper chest from moving freely.  This therapy reduces pain and restores movement. Some muscle stretching and contracting is included for improving flexibility and increasing the range of motion in the shoulder.

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