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The rotator cuff (rotor cuff) is an anatomical term given to the group of muscles and their tendons that act to stabilize the shoulder. Along with the teres major and the deltoid the four muscles of the rotator cuff make up the six scapulohumeral (those that connect to the humerus and scapula) muscles of the human body.
These muscles arise from the scapula and connect to the head of the humerus forming a cuff at shoulder joint. They are important because they hold the head of the humerus in the small and shallow glenoid fossa of the scapula. The glenohumeral joint is often likened to a golf ball sitting on a golf tee. During elevation of the arm, the rotator cuff compresses the glenohumeral joint in order to allow the large deltoid muscle to further elevate the arm. In other words, without the rotator cuff, the humeral head would ride up partially out of the glenoid fossa, lessening the efficiency of the deltoid muscle.
Some anatomists dispute the importance of the rotator cuff. According to them the m. biceps brachii is the key factor in keeping the bones together.
Muscles composing rotator cuff
The mnemonic "SITS" is often used to remember the four muscles of the rotator cuff.
Rotator cuff tear
This group of tendons can become torn, leading to pain and restricted movement of the arm. A torn rotator cuff can occur following a trauma to the shoulder or it can occur through "wear and tear" of the tendons under the acromion. It is an injury frequently sustained by athletes whose duties involve making repetitive throws, such as baseball pitchers, American football quarterbacks, swimmers, and tennis players (due to their service motion). It is commonly associated with motions that require repeated overhead motions or forceful pulling motions.
Rotator cuff impingement
A systematic review of relevant research found that the accuracy of the physical examination is low. The Hawkins-Kennedy test and Hawkins-Kennedy test have a sensitivity of approximately 80% to 90% for detecting impingement. The infraspinatus and supraspinatus tests have a specificity of 80% to 90%.
Reduce pain and swelling
As with all muscle injuries, R.I.C.E. is the modality recommended by MDs, DOs, Physical Therapists, Athletic Trainers, and Chiropractors.
R=Rest I=Ice C=Compression E=Elevation
Cold compression therapy is very useful for all muscle tears and strains as it reduces pain and swelling. Using a cold compression therapy wrap for 15 minutes before sleeping can aid in reducing the pain which causes a restless nights sleep.
The rotator cuff can be strengthened to rehabilitate shoulder injuries, and prevent future ones. There are different exercises to target the individual rotator cuff muscles.
Strengthening the rotator cuff allows for increased loads in a variety of exercises. When weightlifters are unable to increase the weight they can lift on a pushing exercise (such as the bench press or military press) for an extended period of time, strengthening the rotator cuff can often allow them to begin making gains again. It also prevents future injuries to the glenohumeral joint, balancing the often-dominant internal rotators with stronger external rotators. Finally, exercising the rotator cuff can lead to improved posture, as without exercise to the external rotator, the internal rotators can see a shortening, leading to tightness. This often manifests itself as rounded shoulders in the population.
When the rotator cuff is torn, surgery may be required to reattach the tendon to the bone.
|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Rotator_cuff". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.|