Accessibility View Close toolbar
Open mobile navigation

Rotator Cuff Injury

The rotator cuff complex is a group of muscles surrounding the shoulder joint. This includes the supraspinatus, the infraspinatus, the teres minor & major, and the subscapularis. These 4 muscles (5 if you count the teres as separate muscles) provide support and stability to the shoulder joint—which is one of the most mobile and therefore unstable joints in the body. If the rotator cuff is compromised, then the joint will likely not stay centered throughout its movement. This can lead to clicking, popping, restricted motion, wear & tear, pain, and eventually degenerative changes. This is why it is so important to ensure proper rotator cuff health or recovery if injured.

The most common cause for rotator cuff damage is overhead lifting. But, there are several more mechanisms of injury and much more at play than you might think. Many times a person will simply overload the rotator cuff causing a rip in the muscle or tendon. This can happen when lifting too much weight upwards, but can also happen while lowering something heavy from a high shelf. Other times, it is a repetitive injury that occurs over time. This can happen at the gym, or during a sport like baseball. The person may feel a discomfort or odd movement at the time of activity, but later feel the injury more severely. Sometimes it takes weeks or months for a person to notice significant changes. This is because while the damaged rotator cuff itself may not produce much pain, the resulting abnormal motion causes stress and inflammation that gets worse over time after the initial event.

Researchers are now providing evidence that rotator cuff injury may not happen in a vacuum. This group of muscles may be predisposed to injury in people who have abnormalities in the position of their shoulder blades. People who roll their shoulders forward and down may be putting their rotator cuff muscles in a vulnerable position where they are loaded under additional stress and therefore are prone to injury. You can see that this is true yourself simply by trying the following: Sit up straight with your shoulders back, then clap your hands over your head. This should be easy (of course unless you already have shoulder problems). Now, roll your shoulders forward and slump in your chair. Clap over your head again. What did you notice? It is much harder to properly move your arms over your head in this position. Why is this? It is because the shoulder blades control the angle of movement of your arms. If your shoulder blades are not positioned correctly, then chances are that your arms are going to have a much harder time moving overhead properly because you are having to fight at an abnormal angle and recruiting additional muscle strength to do so. This puts stress on the rotator cuff and predisposes it to damage.

This is why it is often not just enough to address the rotator cuff, but to also retrain the scapula to work correctly again. If you don’t fix this part, you’re likely going to have another episode in the future and cause more damage. Retraining the scapula usually means getting them to sit flatter on the ribcage along with correcting postural abnormalities of the cervical and thoracic spine (head and upper back). Manipulation of the spine and shoulders along with specific physiotherapy and exercises are the mainstay of our treatment here at Tulsa Chiropractic Rehab. Even if surgery is needed, this treatment is still necessary to retrain the body and correct the underlying issue.

Office Hours

Our Regular Schedule


9:30 am-1:30 pm

3:00 pm-7:00 pm


9:30 am-1:30 pm

3:00 pm-7:00 pm


9:30 am-1:30 pm

3:00 pm-7:00 pm


9:30 am-1:30 pm

3:00 pm-7:00 pm


9:30 am-2:00 pm





Our Location

Find us on the map


Reviews By Our Satisfied Patients

  • "Dr Fields and company are amazing! I was having terrible back and neck pain and Dr Fields came to me highly recommended to me by a close friend. He carefully explained to me what was happening and how he could help. After just a few sessions I so much better!! He is the BEST!!"
    Sarah Murray
  • "Dr Fields is exceptional. He works very hard to rehab physical issues, listens to your comments, and takes more time working with patients vs others I have worked with. No doubt the best I have visited."
    Denny Dean
  • "Dr. Fields is outstanding! He took the time to address my issues in detail and clearly explained what my options for care are. He and his staff are fantastic! I could not recommend them more!"
    Luke Brown

Featured Articles

  • Relationship with Self

    The relationship you have with yourself and the journey to self-understanding is an important part of your overall wellness. ...

    Read More
  • Indoor Activities and Exercises

    Are you preparing for the winter months or looking for exercises to do when you can't make it to the gym? Follow these exercises to maintain a healthy fitness routine. ...

    Read More
  • Holiday Stress - Take a Deep Breath

    Most of us pay little attention, if any, to the daily functioning of our many physiological systems. Our hearts beat, our digestive systems digest, and our various hormones, such as those deriving from the thyroid gland, adrenal gland, and pancreas, do what they do. It's all good... until it's not. ...

    Read More
  • Proper Overindulgence Over the Holidays

    Proper Overindulgence Over The Holidays The term "overindulgence" is probably best assessed as a red flag, especially with respect to consistent overconsumption of high-calorie comfort food and desserts during the holiday season. An overall healthier perspective could be described as "indulgence" regarding ...

    Read More
  • The 5 Senses

    The 5 Senses The five senses, that is, the sense of sight, touch, hearing, taste, and smell, provide us with necessary information regarding the world around us.1 These precious capabilities enable us to navigate our environment with seemingly instantaneous feedback with reference to our actions and ...

    Read More
  • The Benefits of Sleep for Adults

    Obtaining sufficient restful sleep is an essential requirement for optimal human productivity. Such a practice is a key component of a healthy lifestyle, which includes a nutritious diet, regular vigorous exercise, and a positive mental attitude. How much sleep one needs varies from person to person. ...

    Read More
  • Back to School and Mental Wellness

    Summer is a subjectively fleeting season and school days are upon us once again. For children, this bittersweet time marks the completion of a period of relative freedom and the beginning of a new set of responsibilities. For adults, the onset of late summer and early fall signals yet another turn of ...

    Read More
  • Repetitive Motion Injuries

    A repetitive motion injury (or overuse injury) involves doing an action over and over again, as with a baseball pitcher throwing a baseball, a tennis player hitting a tennis ball, typing at a computer keyboard, and most notoriously, typing with your thumbs on the tiny keypad of your phone. It may be ...

    Read More
  • Left-Handers Day

    Left-Handers Day Left-Handers Day, celebrated on August 15th, was launched in 1992 by the Left-Handers Club, an organization based in the United Kingdom. Since then, Left-Handers Day has become a worldwide event and social media phenomenon. Around the world, approximately one in ten persons is left-handed. ...

    Read More
  • Peak Experiences

    Peak Experiences The American philosopher and naturalist Henry David Thoreau roamed far and wide over the hills and mountains of his native Massachusetts and neighboring New Hampshire. In his masterwork, "Walden," Thoreau famously stated that we must "reawaken and keep ourselves awake, not by mechanical ...

    Read More

Newsletter Signup