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The Rotator Cuff
What is it and Why is it Important?


What is the rotator cuff?

Your rotator cuff is made up of muscles and tendons that keep the ball (head) of your upper-arm bone (humerus) in your shoulder socket. The muscles function as executors of the movements of the joint but also help to stabilization of the joint throughout movement.

The Rotator Cuff muscles include: 
The supraspinatus is located at the top of the shoulder and abducts the shoulder - it raises the upper arm and moves it away from the body. 
The subscapularis is at the front of the shoulder & it internally rotates the shoulder. 
The infraspinatus and teres minor are in the back of the shoulder & they externally rotate the shoulder. 

Though each rotator cuff muscle moves the shoulder in a separate direction, they all work together to stabilise the shoulder joint.


Why are Rotator Cuff Exercises Important?

Many muscles are involved in shoulder movement and all work together but strengthening the rotator cuff is especially important. Your rotator cuff is the main stabiliser of the shoulder joint. If the ball of the upper arm is not kept centred, abnormal stress is placed on surrounding tissue and may cause gradual injury. Strengthening the rotator cuff helps prevents common rotator cuff injuries including tendonitis, rotator cuff tears, and shoulder impingement syndrome.  

Age-related changes in rotator cuff tendons leave them less elastic and more susceptible to injury. There is also a gradual loss of muscle mass that occurs with ageing, which can be counteracted with strengthening exercises.

Who to seeafter suffering a Rotator Cuff Injury?

If you are someone who has a rotator cuff injury, then you should book an appointment with your local Exercise Physiologist. Exercise Physiologists are experienced in effectively treating a wide variety of clients with shoulder injuries, from athletes to workplace and lifestyle injuries. We prescribe exercise programs that are individually tailored for you to ensure that you get your shoulder back to maximum strength and mobility, fully achieve your goals and minimise your risk of future shoulder pain.'

Get in contact with us on 1300 869 169 or email us at info@exphysaustralia.com.au.

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