The rotator cuff is made up of four muscles that help move and stabilize the shoulder. Damage to any one of the four muscles or their ligaments that attach the muscle to bone can occur because of acute injury, overuse, or gradual aging. This can cause significant pain and disability with range of motion or use of the shoulder joint.
The muscles and tendons in the rotator cuff group may become damaged from a fall or accident, chronic overuse (like throwing a ball or lifting), or gradual degeneration of the muscle and tendon that can occur with aging. This injury can develop from sudden raising of the arm against resistance or in an attempt to cushion a fall (for example, heavy lifting or a fall on the shoulder). One of the more common causes is a lack of strength and stability in this muscle group as a whole, leading to the upwards movement of the humerus in the shoulder joint, resulting in an impingement-type syndrome.
Short term options include icing the shoulder and getting the proper amount of rest. A sling may provide more comfort however this doesn't not help in the long run if the original cause is muscle weakness and instability.
Often anti-inflammatory medication is prescribed to help reduce pain and the swelling that may occur. Patients often overexert themselves when taking these medications since the pain signal is removed and they think the shoulder has healed. Long term, this can lead to increased pain and overall recovery time.
The most important focus in an effective treatment plan is finding and treating the cause of the rotator cuff injury. If this happens to be local muscular weakness' then ultimately this is what needs to be corrected with rehab exercises.
Natural therapies that can be effectively used prior to include myofascial trigger point or medical acupuncture with electro-stimulation, massage, active release therapyand hydrotherapy techniques.
Biopuncture is another effective approach in the treatment of rotator cuff injuries. Natural remedies are injected into the region of the injured or inflammed muscle tissue to help strengthen it and speed recovery time.
Natural anti-inflammatory remedies taken orally can also help to manage the pain. Rehabilitation exercises or work modifications are also important to help prevent further injury.