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Chiropractic Care for a Torn Rotator Cuff

Published Date: 
December 2, 2022
A chiropractor is examining a man's rotator cuff injury.

Chiropractic treatments are a non-surgical alternative to recovering from rotator cuff injuries.

How Chiropractic Care Can Help You Recover from a Rotator Cuff Injury

One of the most common shoulder injuries is a rotator cuff tear. A rotator cuff tear can occur due to repeated stress on the shoulder, such as from overhead motions or a sudden injury.

Chiropractic care can help you recover from a rotator cuff injury by reducing inflammation, improving your range of motion, and strengthening the muscles and tendons around the shoulder. Chiropractic adjustments can also help realign the bones in the shoulder, reducing pain and improving function. In addition, chiropractic care can help to release any adhesions or scar tissue that may have formed around the shoulder injury site.

What Is a Rotator Cuff Injury? 

A torn rotator cuff injury affects the shoulder, specifically the group of muscles and tendons around the shoulder joint. The rotator cuff helps to stabilize and lift the arm. When this area is damaged, it can lead to pain, weakness, and arm mobility loss.

Common Causes of Rotator Cuff Tears 

A sudden impact or trauma, like a fall or car accident, can cause rotator cuff injuries to the shoulder. However, most rotator cuff injuries result from gradual wear and tear on the tissues, often from repetitive motions like overhead arm movements. Other risk factors for developing a rotator cuff injury include age-related tissue changes, arthritis, and diabetes.

Symptoms of Rotator Cuff Injuries

There are four main symptoms of a rotator cuff injury: pain, weakness, stiffness, and decreased range of motion.

A woman is holding her shoulder because of pain from a rotator cuff injury.

Pain is the most common symptom and is often worse at night or when you try to move your shoulder. Weakness may make it difficult to lift your arm or reach overhead, and stiffness can limit your ability to move your shoulder and make it painful to do so. A decreased range of motion means you cannot move your arm as far as you usually could.

How a Chiropractor Can Help 

Chiropractic treatment can be an effective way to treat a rotator cuff injury. 

Chiropractic treatment can reduce inflammation in the affected area and provide pain relief. Treatment may also help improve the range of motion and increase strength in the muscles and tendons around the shoulder. 

Chiropractic care is often used in conjunction with other forms of treatment, such as physical or occupational therapy. It can be an alternative to medication and surgical repair for this shoulder problem.

Chiropractic Treatments for Rotator Cuff Injuries 

A chiropractor is treating a man for a rotator cuff injury.

Common chiropractic adjustments and treatments for a torn rotator cuff injury include:

  • Spinal manipulation: This technique is when the chiropractor uses their hands to apply pressure to the spine to relieve pain and improve function.
  • Joint mobilization: Joint mobilization is when the chiropractor moves the body's joints to reduce pain and improve the range of motion.
  • Soft tissue therapy: This type of massage is used to relieve pain and improve function by breaking down scar tissue and promoting blood flow.
  • Exercise rehabilitation: This type of physical therapy uses exercises to improve strength, flexibility, and range of motion.
  • Nutritional counseling: This therapy helps patients to improve their diet to promote healing and prevent further injury.


Chiropractic therapy is a type of alternative medicine that focuses on diagnosing and treating musculoskeletal disorders. Chiropractors use various techniques to treat rotator cuff injuries, including manipulation of the spine, joints, and soft tissues. It is a safe and effective treatment; however, it is essential to consult a doctor or other healthcare provider before beginning chiropractic therapy for this shoulder condition.

Dr. Darren Faherty D.C.

In 2004, Dr. Darren Faherty graduated with a Bachelors of Science degree in Biology from UWEC - University of Wisconsin Eau Claire. Dr. Darren continued education at the highly esteemed University of Western States (formerly Western States Chiropractic College) where he obtained his chiropractic degree in 2007. He has been helping people recover from injuries and return to their normal lifestyles ever since.

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