The Rotator Muscles

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The rotator cuff muscles play a vital role in dynamic stability of the shoulder and glenohumeral joint. The glenohumeral joint is a shallow socket that allows for multiple directional movements through the frontal, sagittal, and transverse planes. The glenohumeral joint has the widest range of motion of all the joints in the body. The shoulder complex contains three bones: the scapula, the clavicle, and the humerus providing shape, support, and biomechanical form. The repetitive and forceful external rotation of the humerus is the primary cause of micro-trauma in competitive athletes resulting in anterior instability. “Only recently has the subtle instability of the shoulder joint become recognized as one of the primary causes of shoulder pain and dysfunction in athlete, especially those under 35 years of age” (Barry, Dillingham & Mcguire, 2002). The injury can be acute or chronic with mechanic stresses being from intrinsic or extrinsic factor. The diagnosis and treatment options are based on the classification of the injury. The classification is based on the location (Articular or Bursal surface, or Complete) and severity of the tear (0-IV) with 0 being the normal and IV being very severe. For example, an articular surface injury with a minimal tear is A-I and a complete rotator cuff tear is a C-IV (Habermeyer, Magosch & Lichtenberg, 2006). Rehabilitation of the rotator cuff needs to include strength and static flexibility training to stabilize and restore the range of motion (ROM) of the shoulder complex. A good prevention remedy is to include a strength training program for the length of the sport and remain part of a general fitness regimen. The pathophysiology of the shoulder complex is important in understanding the complex... ... middle of paper ... ...pkins University Press. Brumitt, J., & Meira, E. (2005). Rehab exercise prescription sequencing for shoulder external rotators. Strength and Conditioning Journal, 27(6), 39-41. Retrieved from Goldberg, J., Chan, K., Best, J., Bruce, W., Walsh, W., & Parry, W. (2003). Surgical management of large rotator cuff tears combined with instability in elite rugby football players. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 37(2), 179-81; discussion 181. Retrieved from Habermeyer, P., Magosch, P., & Lichtenberg, S. (2006). Classifications and scores of the shoulder. Springer. Smith, M., & Smith, W., (2010). Rotator cuff tears an overview. Orthopaedic Nursing, 29(5), 319-22; quiz 323-4. Retrieved from
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