Unstable Shoulder?

Thomas Tung

/ Physiotherapist

What are the rotator cuff muscles?

The rotator cuff muscles are 4 muscles that hold the bones in your shoulder joint together. Two attach from the side of your shoulder blade, one from the top of your shoulder and one from the front of your chest.

What do the rotator cuff muscles do?

The shoulder is a ball and socket joint. When the rotator cuff muscles are tightened, they stabilize the shoulder by holding the ball within the socket.

What happens if the rotator cuff muscles don’t work?

If the rotator cuff muscles don’t work – you have an unstable shoulder. When this happens – the shoulder hangs lower and puts strain on the soft tissues in the shoulder. You may also get pain when raising your arm up as the rotator cuff aren’t strong enough to hold it in place. This can lead to muscle tears, muscle soreness and issues with tendons and ligaments.

What are the signs of my rotator cuff not working?

Shoulder pain, neck pain, pinching sensation when raising the arm, shoulder “clunking” upon movement.

What can I do to aid my rotator cuff?

Strengthening exercises for rotator cuff can be done to prevent injuries or to recover from injuries. Often physiotherapists use elastic exercise bands and/or weights to train these muscles. Massage can be used to provide some relief for pain and get the muscles in a better condition to work.