Newsletter excerpts: Shoulder and Rotator Cuff November 2016

Michelle Burns
May 19, 2017

Every month I send out a newsletter to subscribers with the most recent evidence and studies on specific body work topics. The newsletter may include summaries and links to studies and articles, videos that provide support information about exercises, new techniques or lectures. There are five main focuses for the newsletters and each newsletter is repeated twice a year. The five main focuses for the newsletters are: Shoulder and rotator cuff, fibromyalgia, fascia and trigger points, upper cross and neck, and business/ethics. If you would like to receive the newsletters with more complete information than is found in the excerpts, please sign up to receive the newsletter on my contact page.


1.A youtube video, uploaded May 5, 2011, by Whole Health Partners, is an excellent review of the anatomy and cause of Frozen shoulder and the focus for relief. Frozen Shoulder - “The True Cause”. 

2.Walter Fritz offers several stretches for shoulders and neck

3.Paula Nutting offers a myofascial release stretch for frozen shoulder in a youtube video: Frozen shoulder stretching options.

4. An article published in Know Surg Sports Traumatol Arthrosc in Nov 2016, titled Blood supply of the subacromial bursa and rotator cuff tendons on the bursal side concluded: "the subacromial bursa appears well vascularized. The results of the present investigation showed that blood supply to the subacromial bursa at the caudal part and rotator cuff tendons on the bursal side was linked to the same arteries. The subcoracoid artery supplied interval rotator structures close to the caudal bursa." 

5. An article, published in the European Journal of Orthopedic Surgery & Traumatology In April 2017, titled The clinical anatomy of the insertion of the rotator cuff tendons concludes: "The rotator cuff insertions according to most anatomical texts are described as being separate from one another. However, clear fusion of the tendon fibers exists with prior studies showing this interdigitation forming a common, continuous insertion onto and around the lesser and greater tubercles of the humerus…collectively, these findings indicate and strengthen evidence towards the notion that the rotator cuff muscles/tendons and the internal capsule are one complete and inseparable unit/complex….Functions of one rotator cuff muscle are not necessarily isolated but instead can be influenced by surrounding muscles as well.”


I receive a weekly update on anything published anywhere on the internet that includes information about rotator cuffs and shoulders.  Much of it is personal blogs, stories about athletes that are injured, etc., but some of the information can be helpful to practitioners.  I try to glean the best of the information and provide a brief synopsis of the information and a link to find the full item yourself.  If you have any problems with the links, please let me know, or if you come across any information that you think would be good to share, please also feel free to pass that information along to:

1.An article by Bahram Jam, published on the Advanced Physical Therapy Education Institute’s site, titled New Paradigms in Rotator Cuff Retraining concludes: “Rotator cuff strengthening exercises are frequently prescribed to address various shoulder dysfunctions and pain syndromes. The primary function of the rotator cuff muscles is to compress, stabilize and provide fine tune control at the glenohumeral joint. Most exercise programs focus on general strengthening and not on the fine tune control function of these muscles. The purpose of this article is to introduce clinicians to new concepts in rotator cuff retraining that focus on therapeutic exercises to assist these muscles in regaining their functional role as dynamic stabilizer son the glenohumeral joint.”

2.A study, published in Physiotherapy Jun 2017, titled Comparison of three types of exercise in the treatment of rotator cuff tendinopathy/shoulder impingement syndrome: a randomized controlled trial concluded “open chain resisted band exercises, closed chain exercises and minimally loaded range of movement exercises all seem to be effective in bringing about short-term changes in pain and disability in patients with rotator cuff tendinopathy.”

3.A study published in J Hand Ther Nov 2016, titled Effect of rotator cuff strengthening as an adjunct to standard care in subjects with adhesive capsulitis: a randomized controlled trial, concluded: "addition of a structured RC strengthening program to TENS and joint mobilization in the treatment of adhesive capsulitis resulted in improvement in pain, ROM and function." 

4.A study in Orthopedics in May 2017, titled Simvastatin exposure and rotator cuff repair in a rat model concluded: "simvastatin is a common medication prescribed for hypercholesterolemia that accelerates local bone formation…This study was conducted to investigate whether local and systemic administration of simvastatin increased tendon-bone healing of the rotator cuff as detected by maximum load failure…The use of systemic and local simvastatin offered no benefit over control groups."

5.A study published in the J Occup Environ Med in Feb 2017 (and repeated in numerous blogs and newspapers) titled Association between cardiovascular disease risk factors and rotator cuff tendinopathy: a cross-sectional study found: “Recent evidence has found potential associations between cardiovascular disease risk factors and common musculoskeletal disorders. We evaluated possible associations between risk factors and both glenohumeral joint pain and rotator cuff tendinopathy…Individual risk factors were associated with both outcomes. Combined, CVD risk factors demonstrated a strong correlation with glenohumeral joint pain and an even stronger correlation with rotator cuff tendinopathy. Results suggest a potentially modifiable disease mechanism.” The theory is decreased blood supply leads to pain and degeneration.

6.A six page illustrated handout is available to educate people about exercises to use for recovery after rotator cuff injury, or to strengthen their shoulder. This handout may be printed or downloaded from Health Information Translations for personal, non-commercial use. The handout is available in English, Spanish and Somali. 

7. A study published in J Bodyw Mov Ther in 2012, titled Therapeutic effects of traditional Thai massage on pain, muscle tension and anxiety in patients with scapulocostal syndrome: randomized single-blinded pilot study summarized “the purpose of this study was to investigate the therapeutic effects of traditional Thai massage on pain intensity, pressure pain threshold, muscles tension and anxiety associated with scapulocostal syndrome…results indicated that the Thai massage group showed a significant improvement in all parameters after the first treatment session.”

In the Alternative Health Care Arena

1.Published in J Sci Med Sport, the article Effects of scapular taping on the activity onset of scapula muscles and the scapular kinematics in volleyball players with rotator cuff tendinopathy, concludes: scapular taping may enhance the neuromotor control of the scapular muscles. Whether it provides adequate support for normal scalar kinematics during arm movement in athletes with RC tendinopathy await for further studies.”

2.Published in J Rehab Med Mar 2017, the article Effects of Kinesio taping for stroke patients with hemiplegic shoulder pain: a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study concluded: stroke patients with hemiplegic shoulder pain can experience greater reductions in shoulder pain and disability index, pain, and improvement in shoulder flexion, external and internal rotation after 3 weeks of kinesio taping intervention compared with sham kinesio taping. Kinesio taping may be an alternative treatment option for stroke patients with hemiplegic shoulder pain.”

3.Published in J Manipulative Physic Ther Jan 2017, the article Comparing Trigger Point Dry Needling and Manual Pressure Technique for the Management of Myofascial Neck/Shoulder pain: A Randomized Clinical Trial, concluded: the aim of this study was to investigate short-term and long-term treatment effects of dry needling and manual pressure technique with the primary goal of determining of dry needling has better effects on disability, pain, and muscles characteristics in treating myofascial neck/shoulder pain in women. .. Both treatment techniques lead to short-term and long-term treatment effects. Dry needling was found to be no more effective than manual pressure in the treatment of myofascial neck/shoulder pain.

4.Published in Orthop Traumatol Surg Res in May 2017, the article Effectiveness of prolotherapy in the treatment of chronic rotator cuff lesions, concluded: prolotherapy is an easily applicable and satisfying auxiliary method in the treatment of chronic rotator cuff lesions.

Advanced Holistic Healing Arts © 2024
Advanced Holistic Healing Arts linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram