Myotherapy Treatment for Rotator Cuff Injury- Case Study

Author Mark Kelly (Myotherapist) AD, Myo

43 Year old female presented for Myotherapy treatment complaining of left shoulder pain that had been present for four days. Signs and symptoms were a general ache with periods of more sharp pain aggravated by arm movement especially when A reaching up. The mechanism of injury in this case was related to lifting a box overhead to place it on a shelf. At the time the client felt strain in the shoulder but was able to still use the arm, the following day her symptoms started to become more noticeable and the movement was restricted.

On observation the client was quite hunched through her upper back, shoulders and neck, the affected arm appeared to sit slightly lower and more rounded than the non-affected side, she had decreased shoulder movement especially reaching overhead that aggravated the pain, and her shoulder strength was noticeably weak.

A clinical impression was that the client had strained her Supraspinatus muscle which is one of four muscles that make up the rotator cuff (muscles that help to stabilize the shoulder joint).

Anti-inflammatory medication was prescribed by a General Practitioner in conjunction with the clients’ Myotherapy treatment. The aim from a Myotherapy perspective was to give the client advice on how to reduce aggravating factors and provide manual therapy. Manual therapy techniques were applied to soft tissue to improve the muscular imbalance surrounding the client’s shoulder and neck with the aim of improving the length tension relationship of muscles that stabilise and move the scapula ( shoulder blade) and the should joint its self.. Dry needling was also used to help reduce pain coming from tight shoulder muscles. A home exercise program was given to help improve the clients shoulder posture, range of motion and strength.

After 3 weeks of treatment and gradual progression the client was able to raise her arm without pain and now continues to seek treatment at less frequency to stay on top improving posture, mobility and strength at the area.

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