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April 23, 2008

Rotator Cuff Injuries

We're studying the forearm (antebrachium) this week, so I decided to develop a theme for the week. It only seemed appropriate to blog about an entire array of disorders that commonly occur in the upper extremity.

Four muscles make up the rotator cuff, whose purpose it to hold the humeral head into the shallow indentation known as the glenoid fossa of the scapula. The scapula acts as a base of support for the humeral head, allowing the arm the most freedom of range of motion of any joint in the body. But that freedom comes at a price: stability.

Rotator cuff injuries are fairly common and can be cause by a variety of ways. Falling, lifting and repetitive arm activities, especially those done overhead, are scenarios that cause rotator cuff injuries.
* Pain and tenderness in the shoulder, especially when reaching overhead
* Weakness in the shoulder
* Loss of range of motion

Can massage help a rotator cuff injury? Since it's important to keep the joint mobile and supple, massage would be good for prevention and rehabilitation, but not for the acute phase of the injury or immediately post surgery. Following surgery, with doctor's clearance, massage therapy could help restore mobility and suppleness to the affected shoulder.

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Posted by linda at April 23, 2008 8:30 AM

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