Newsletter excerpts: Shoulder and Rotator Cuff November 2016

Michelle Burns
November 28, 2016

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. Walt Fritz shares a youtube video “MFR for the Anterior Shoulder and Intercostal Regions”. This is a short demonstration.

2.Paula Nutting posted a video on youtube, “Glenohumeral Treatment Techniques for shoulder pathology” focused on musculoskeletal treatment.

3.Paul Ingraham, published a self-help manual for people suffering from adhesive capsulitis (Frozen Shoulder Guide) on



An article by Bahram Jam, titled New Paradigms in Rotator Cuff Retraining, can be found on the APTEI website. Abstract: 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 stabilizers of the glenohumeral (GH) joint.

2. A study, published in Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine in 2013, titled Massage Therapy for Neck and Shoulder Pain: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis, by Kong, Zhan, Cheng, Yuan, Chen and Fang, Evaluated “the effectiveness of massage therapy for neck and shoulder pain.”

3.  A study, published in Journal of Manipulative Physiologic Therapy in 2010, by Bergman, Winters, Groenier, Meyboom-deJong, Postmen and Ven der Heijden, titled Manipulative therapy in addition to usual care for patients with shoulder complaints: results of physical examination outcomes in a randomized controlled trial, found “manipulative therapy, in addition to usual care by the general practitioner, diminished severity of shoulder pain and neck pain and improved shoulder and neck mobility.”

4.  An article, by John Borstad and Christopher Woeste, The role of sensitization in musculoskeletal shoulder pain, published in Brazilian Journal of Physical Therapy in 2015,  found “peripheral sensitization manifests consistently in those with musculoskeletal shoulder pathology, probably due to the inflammatory processes related to tissue injury. Central sensitization, while not universally present, was reported in a majority of the reports. Because central sensitization is thought to be a key step on the pathway to chronic pain, evidence for it presence in those with shoulder pain is significant. Clinicians should expect the presence of sensitization with shoulder pathology and make appropriate choices about interventions so as not to exacerbate pain.”

5.  A study, published in the Journal of Bodywork & Movement Therapy in Jul 2016 by Gordon, Andrasik, Schleip, Birbaumer and Rea, “Myofascial trigger point release (MTR) for treating chronic shoulder pain: A novel approach”  concluded “MTR resulted in clinically significant improvements in the primary measures of pain, objective mechanical tissue properties, and secondary measures in patients with chronic shoulder pain.”

6.  A study published in the Journal of Shoulder & Elbow Surgery in May 2016, “scapulohumeral rhythm relative to active range of motion in patients with symptomatic rotator cuff tears,” concluded: patients who reached at least 85 degrees compensated for the loss of glenohumeral motion by increased scapulothoracic contribution, suggesting that structural damage interferes with motion mechanics. In contrast, patients who reached less range of motion underused the scapulothoracic joint, which is likely to create subacromial impingement at low arm elevation, A patient’s maximal range of motion without pain may indicate a pattern of scapulohumeral rhythm alteration.”

7.   A study, published on Dovepress from the Journal of Inflammation Research, title Vitamin D and the immunomodulation of rotator cuff injury, concluded: In the tendon-to-bone healing process, vitamin D has been shown to successfully influence bone and muscle healing, but more research is needed to delve into the mechanisms of vitamin D as a factor in skeletal tendon health and healing.

8.   Dejaco, Habets, van Loon, van Grinsven, and Van Cingel published the results of a study, Eccentric versus conventional exercise therapy inpatients with rotator cuff tendiopathy: a randomized, single blinded, clinical trial, in Knee Surgery, sports traumatology, arthroscopy, which concluded: A 12-week-isolated eccentric training programme of the rotator cuff is beneficial for shoulder function and pain after 26 weeks in patients with rotator cuff tendinopathy. However, it is no more beneficial than a conventional exercise program for the rotator cuff and scapular muscles. Based on the results, clinicians should take into account that performing two eccentric exercises twice a day is as effective as performing six concentric/eccentric exercises once a day in patients with rotator cuff tendinopathy.

In the Alternative Health Care Arena

1.  Published in Acupuncture Medicine in Jun 2016, the study “randomized controlled trial of contralateral manual acupuncture for the relief of chronic shoulder pain" concluded “beneficial effects of contralateral acupuncture in the treatment of chronic should pain, both in terms of pain and function.”

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