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Shoulder injury - Rotator Cuff by Dr. Cary Yurkiw, Chiropractor in Kelowna

I see many shoulder injuries in the clinic. First, I want to know the history of the injury and general health of the patient to determine if the problem can be corrected and how long it will take (prognosis)

Then, the assessment is key and it includes alignment of the area, range of motion of the shoulder, and checking the 4 muscles in the rotator cuff. Also, I check the A-C joint, which is the joint between the acromion and clavicle.

Then I may take digital x-rays. Three views of the shoulder are necessary. The three views are internal rotation, external rotation, and lateral views. I take the x-rays myself in the clinic, read them, and produce a report.

Then treatment begins. It usually involves manual or instrument adjustments to re-align the shoulder and increase the range of motion in the ball and socket joint (glenohumeral). I give the patient instructions for home. Usually, it involves ice to start as there is much inflammation, but then heat to relax the muscles and speed up the healing process by more blood flow to the area.

Then I give the patient home exercises. I read a good article recently that involved some good exercises which can be found here:

My three most favourite exercises to give are:

  1. Figure 8 - with a heavier weight make circles one way and the other. Then progress to make an "8" shape with the weight. Do 8-10 repetitions daily. (photo credit:

2. Wall shoulder exercise. Arms against the wall, and flex the body forward toward the floor. A stretch is normal, but sharp pain means one should back off. This exercise is progressive. So do 5-10 seconds for each stretch, and 5-7 times each day. (photo credit:

3. Towel exercise. Use the towel to pull the arms up and down like one is 'flossing' their spine. This will work the should capsule on each side. Do 8-10 repetitions on each side. (photo credit: Veritas Health)

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