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Physica e-Newsletter

February 2014 

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Rotator Cuff Injuries

The rotator cuff is a group of 4 muscles; supraspinatus, subscapularis, infraspinatus and teres minor that attach the humerus (upper arm) to the scapula (shoulder blade).


These muscles form a cuff that surrounds the humeral head (ball of the shoulder) and help to center the movement of the humeral head on the glenoid cavity (socket).






Patients who develop rotator cuff injuries are commonly involved in work above shoulder height or sports involving overhead activity such as tennis or throwing sports such as cricket.


Rotator cuff injuries include:

  • Rotator cuff tendonitis

  • Partial or full thickness tears

  • Rotator cuff impingement

  • Bursitis

  • Calcific tendonitis


Symptoms associated with rotator cuff injury:

  • Pain over the outside of the shoulder

  • Pain referral into the outside of the upper arm

  • Problems with over head activities

  • Problems with lifting weight

  • Inability to lie on the affected side


Rotator cuff injury can be caused from a specific incident such as over-straining at the gym, a fall onto an outstretched hand or repetitive strain with work such as a butcher making repetitive cuts.


Most rotator cuff injuries are amenable with physiotherapy. Some cases such as full thickness tears and severe impingement syndromes require surgery.


Rehabilitation involves settling inflammation and pain with appropriate medications, restoring full movement, normalizing scapula movement, strengthening the rotator cuff and then returning to sport and work in a controlled manner.


All Physica staff have received additional training in the management of rotator cuff injuries. We will assess your condition and devise an appropriate rehabilitation program to facilitate a speedy return to work and sport.






Greg, Chris and Josh from the Ringwood practice  along with Gareth from Physica Central Coast attended a workshop last weekend titled ' Assessment and Management of Cervical Spine Disorders'. The course was presented by Professor Gwendowlen Jull from the University of Queensland. Gwen has over 30 years of clinical and research experience and the group appreciated her contribution to the physiotherapy field over this time.


The course had a large emphasis on the role of muscle dysfunction in neck pain, whiplash and headache patients.


Physica Spinal and Physiotherapy Clinics
25 Wantirna Rd
Ringwood Vic 3134
ph 9870 8193

also at
Physica Devonport
Physica Shearwater
Physica Latrobe