Sports People

Adult or Elderly


The rotator cuff is a group of four muscles (supraspinatus, infraspinatus, subscapularis and teres minor) which stabilise the shoulder joint. They also play a crucial role in controlling the multidirectional movement of the humeral head (of the upper arm) inside the glenoid (of the shoulder blade).


A rotator cuff injury may be caused by acute trauma (such as a fall on an outstretched arm or directly onto the shoulder) or an acute injury (lifting a weighted object up-to or from an overhead height). A rotator cuff injury may also be caused by repetitive use (such as working overhead, repetitive lifting, throwing or racquet use in sports) or simply due to age related degeneration.


Rotator cuff injuries may include tears (partial or full thickness), impingement or tendinitis. When a rotator cuff injury occurs inflammation arises in the surrounding area, causing pain and loss of active range.


Your Move Forward Physiotherapist with assess your shoulder to determine the nature and degree of your injury. They may also decide to send you for an ultrasound scan to confirm this and, depending on the degree of damage, may refer you to a shoulder specialist as surgery may be required.

Conservative management may include:

Soft tissue massage

Manual therapies to improve range of motion

Assisted -> active shoulder exercises

Static -> active strengthening exercises

Functional rehabilitation