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  • Writer's picture Dane Monaghan - Physio

Rotator Cuff Related Shoulder Pain

Updated: May 24, 2023

Shoulder Pain – Rotator cuff related shoulder pain (RCRSP)
Women with red right shoulder pain, rotator cuff related shoulder pain

Shoulder pain accounts for a large percentage of our clients presenting complaints here at High Line Active. Many of our Richmond Community when they have presented to physio at High Line Active have benefitted from the education, treatment, and rehabilitation of RCRSP

- A large percentage of shoulder pain falls under the banner of Rotator Cuff Related Shoulder Pain which will be discussed in this post

The term ‘Rotator Cuff Related Shoulder Pain’ or RCRSP was suggested by Jeremy Lewis (2016) and is used to include shoulder pathologies such as

- Bursitis-related pain

- Rotator cuff tears or tendinopathies

This encompasses 85% of all shoulder pain

The ROLE of the rotator cuff is to dynamically stabilise the humeral head (Ball) into the glenoid fossa (Socket) whilst the shoulder is moving. Different amounts of rotator cuff recruitment depend on the shoulder movement itself but simply it asks as a stabiliser throughout. The other, more obvious role, is to rotate the shoulder into internal and external rotation

This is a system that the shoulder uses during movement. From a purely musculoskeletal view, when an element of the system is dysfunctional, this can lead to rotator cuff-related shoulder pain. **This is excluding external factors such as lifestyles and psychosocial factors which are heavily researched. CONTRIBUTING FACTORS

Things we CAN control

- Muscle strength or function (Weakness in shoulder = increased risk)

- Shoulder joint movement (Poor movement = increased risk)

- Overall movement or ergonomics

Things we can’t control

- Age and Genetics

HOW DO WE TREAT IT? If one of the contributing factors is muscle weakness or poor function then one of the easiest ways to treat RCRSP is STRENGTHING. There are copious amounts of evidence supporting that exercises help a shoulder in pain reduction and increase in function

Now to say ‘your shoulder is weak’ is a very global statement that isn’t very specific at all for each of our patients at High Line Active in Richmond. As physiotherapists, our role is to assess and investigate where you have limitations that may be contributing to your RCRSP. From this specific shoulder, exercises will be prescribed for the appropriate loading to the areas of interest within your shoulder. Strengthening accompanied by manual therapy is something that both Nicole and Dane implement when treating our patients with RCRSP. Manual therapy, as stated in previous posts, reduces pain, and improves joint stiffness and function which can allow a person to begin their shoulder strengthening sooner. We hope this brief explanation of what is a very complicated joint helps give you a better understanding of your shoulder. If this is something that is bothering then please do not hesitate to book in to see Nicole or Dane who will gladly help you out with your RCRSP or any other issues.

At High Line Active Physiotherapy - we are proud to serve the Richmond and wider Community so please don't hesitate to contact us

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