The shoulder joint has wonderful range of motion.  Yet, the flexibility of shoulder can make it vulnerable to injury.  Rotator cuff pain is a general catch all term for pain resulting from the muscles comprising the shoulder that it can be caused by a tear, inflammation or a strain.

Rotator cuff muscles are crucial for shoulder movement and maintaining the stability of the shoulder joint.  There are four main muscles comprising the rotary cuff:  supraspinatus, infraspinatus, teres minor and subscapularis.  It is often a complex condition and intermingles with other minor muscles, such as pectoris, trapezius, deltoid and bicep to cause pain.

Rotary cuff muscles are dependent on the posture of the shoulder for proper movement.  When shoulder alignment becomes skewed, as in a forward shoulder roll (very common in the office worker), rotary cuff muscles become imbalanced.  As in the forward shoulder roll, the rhomboids and trapezius become weak.  While the pectorals muscles and SCM will over compensate and become too tight.

When the imbalance is not addressed, rotator cuff muscles become chronically inflamed or torn from instability of the shoulder joint.

Rotary cuff injuries are often involved in repetitive activities such as:

  • Sports: weight lifting, tennis, resistant training
  • Work related: sitting for long periods of time, driving, typing, mouse use, drawing

Rotary cuff pain can radiate in the arm, though most people will have problems with shoulder range of motion.


  • Clicking noises in the shoulder
  • Pain in the front of the shoulder
  • Deep ache in the shoulder
  • Problems sleeping on the effected shoulder
  • Problems lifting the effected arm
  • Possible weakness in shoulder, arm, hand

Age can be a player because of changes in cervical vertebrae, muscles and tendons.

What is the acupuncture treatment process for rotary cuff?

I approach treating rotary cuff to your presentation, which involves:

  • analyzing your posture
  • discussing potential lifestyle dynamics impacting the effected shoulder
  • understanding how other factors such as arthritis, herniation and stenosis
  • Muscle testing the muscles comprising the rotary cuff for weakness and pain
  • Targeting effected muscles, releasing motor points, trigger points and relaxing the fascia

Providing exercises to continue treatment success between acupuncture treatments.

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