One of the most common causes of shoulder pain is an injury to the rotator cuff muscles. These are a small but important group of muscles that surround the shoulder joint helping to stabilise it and also helping with rotational movement of the shoulder. So why are the rotator cuff muscles so susceptible to damage and what can we do about it? There are four muscles within the rotator cuff; The Supraspinatus muscle which is responsible for raising the arm and lifting it away from the body, the Subscapularis muscle which is on the underside of the shoulder blade and helps with internal rotation of the arm, The Infraspinatus which also helps with lifting the arm but mainly comes into play during external rotation and the Teres Minor which helps with external rotation.
A lot depends on how you tore it! There are several different ways to injure your rotator cuff, and although the basic diagnosis is the same (a torn rotator cuff) the treatment can be different, depending on how you did it and the type of tear. Firstly, a rotator cuff tear is an injury to the tendons of the rotator cuff.These muscles are the weakest point of the shoulder and most likely to be the cause of shoulder pain. You can tear one of these tendons in a variety of different ways. It could be a fall or a knock, it could be by lifting something that is too heavy or it could just be wear and tear caused by a shoulder impingement. Imagine your tendons like a piece of old tow rope.
Scientists have identified a gene underlying a disease that causes temporary paralysis of skeletal muscle. The finding, they say, illustrates how investigations of rare genetic diseases can drive insights into more common ones. The finding is reported in the January 8, 2010 issue of the journal Cell. The disease, known as thyrotoxic hypokalemic periodic paralysis, causes acute attacks of weakness in muscles that control movement. Symptoms range from difficulty grasping objects or rising from a lying position to incapacitating weakness of the body that prevents movement. The condition lasts from hours to days. Scientists have known that TPP occurs when certain people with an overactive thyroid are exposed to environmental stresses, such as resting of the muscles after exercise, stress, or low potassium levels in blood after eating a large carbohydrate meal.
Repetitive strain injury or RSI, also known as repetitive stress injury, repetitive motion injuries, repetitive motion disorder (RMD), cumulative trauma disorder (CTD), occupational overuse syndrome, overuse syndrome, and regional musculoskeletal disorder is a range of painful or uncomfortable conditions of the muscles, tendons, nerves and other soft tissues. RSI is usually caused by repetitive use of a certain part of the body, often somewhere in the upper limbs (arms). Repetitive strain injury is typically related to an occupation (job), but may also be linked to some kinds of leisure activity. As opposed to a sudden or 'normal' injury, RSI signs and symptoms may continue for much longer.
Many people with back pain do not know what is causing it and they do not receive effective treatment, but learning to move in a more integrated way makes a big difference, reveals research from the Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden. "People with long-term back pain often protect themselves by unconsciously limiting their movements, " says physiotherapist Christina SchÃ n-Ohlsson. "Such inefficient movement patterns gradually become habituated even though the original injury or strain is no longer present." The answer to the problem is sensory motor learning, where patients are guided to find out how they are moving and how they can free themselves from self-imposed limitations.
Massage, manipulation and other hands-on approaches can safely and effectively help with pain management. The January issue of Mayo Clinic Women's HealthSource discusses the uses and benefits of massage, spinal manipulation, and Rolfing, as well as the Alexander technique and the Feldenkrais method. Massage: Almost everyone feels better after the soothing strokes of a massage. This process involves applying pressure to the body's soft tissues by rubbing, kneading or rolling. There are a variety of techniques and styles, such as deep tissue massage, where deeper layers of muscle and connective tissue are manipulated. Another approach focuses on trigger points -- muscle "knots" that are painful when pressed.