Newsletter excerpts: Shoulder and Rotator Cuff November 2017

Michelle Burns
November 10, 2017

Every month I send out a newsletter to subscribers with the most recent evidence and studies on specific bodywork 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 seven main focuses for the newsletters are: Shoulder and rotator cuff, fibromyalgia, fascia and trigger points, upper cross and neck, cupping/lymphatic drainage, adult learning 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.Massage Offerings gives a good explanation and demonstration of a Levator Scapulae stretch.

2.Paula Nutting offers a video demonstrating Muscle Energy Technique for shoulder rotators and a video showing a great stability exercise for the shoulder

3.Jonathan Kuttner, MD, presents a CE course through Niel Asher titled Rotator Cuff Injuries which includes: easy-to-digest but comprehensive overview of the rotator cuff, common rotator cuff injuries, with a focus on trigger points and trigger point treatment protocols. The (140-page course text is fully illustrated and supported by 14 video classes that cover the anatomy, the evidence, and trigger point therapy protocols.)


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.Erik Dalton, on his blog page, offers an article titled “Bone on Bone - Treating Frozen Shoulder and Shoulder Impingement Syndrome which also includes a video case study.

2.Niel Asher offers an explanation and description of 5 shoulder stretches that can be done by clients.

3.A study, published in J Manipulative Physiol Ther in Jan 2017, titled Comparing Trigger point dry needling and manual pressure technique for the management of myofascial neck/shoulder pain: a randomized clinical trial concluded: 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.A study published in J Sport Rehabil in May 2017, titled  Infraspinatus isolation during external rotation exercise at varying degrees of abduction, concluded: ER should be performed in 0 degrees of abduction in order to maximize infraspinatus isolation. Slight abduction, such as placing a towel under the humerus, as recommended by some clinicians, may improve patient comfort, but did not increase infraspinatus isolation in this study.

5.A study in Clin Biotech (Bristol, Avon), in Jun 2017, titled The effect of a rotator cuff tear and its size on three-dimensional shoulder motion concluded: the massage posterosuperior rotator cuff-tear group had substantially less glenohumeral elevation and more scapulothoracic lateral rotation compared to the other groups. These observations suggest that the infraspinatus is essential to preserve glenohumeral elevation in the presence of a supraspinatus tear. Shoulder kinematics are associated with rotator cuff-tear size and may have diagnostic potential.

6.A study in J Sci Med Sport in Aug 2017, titled Shoulder muscle activation patterns and levels differ between open and closed-chain abduction concluded: open-chain abduction is required to facilitate the stabilizing role of the rotator cuff and axioscapular muscles, in response to middle deltoid activity. Closed-Chain exercises may enable full range shoulder abduction earlier in rehabilitation programs, with an inherent stability and less demand on the rotator cuff.

7.A study in Med Probl Perform Art in Sep 2017, titled Effect of Arm Position on Width of the subacromial Space of Upper String Musicians, concluded: The acromial-humeral distance measurement decreased in the playing positions compared to resting positions. Treatment interventions that help musicians maximize the width of their subacromial space might help reduce the prevalence of shoulder pain in this population.

In the Alternative Health Care Arena


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