Rotator cuff anatomy

Your shoulder joint has an amazing ability to rotate in an almost infinite plane. This allows a complicated and coordinated set of movements including overhead activity.  In order to derive the power to maintain that motion and do so in a stable and secure fashion, the soft tissue surrounding the shoulder joint must be intact and strong.  The soft tissue necessary for this stability include various ligaments and tendons. 

The tendons that support the shoulder joint are collectively called the rotator cuff, and include the biceps, subscapularis, teres minor, infraspinatus, and supraspinatus tendons.  These tendons allow the shoulder to move in a coordinated fashion.  If any of these tendons are damaged or weakened, the result is a shoulder that is not as stable, strong, or coordinated. A damaged rotator cuff tendon can lead to pain on it’s own. In addition, when the rotator cuff is damaged eventually the shoulder joint being supported will be damaged and result in arthritis and pain as well. Some of the ways you can identify that you may have injured your rotator cuff are as follows:
1. Pain in the shoulder with activity.
2. Reduced range of motion in the shoulder.
3. Weakness in the shoulder.
4. Clicking noise in the shoulder with motion.
5. Pain in the middle portion of your upper arm.
6. Pain that moves into your neck.
If you have injured your rotator cuff, make sure you are evaluated by your physician.  Treatment for the rotator cuff, as with any other musculoskeletal condition, should focus on preserving and healing damaged tissue, improving function, along with reducing pain. We have seen excellent results treating rotator cuff tears with stem cells or Regenexx-SCP (platelet rich plasma).
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