Disability and Rehabilitation. In this article we’ll dig a little deeper and look more specifically at where and how the rotator cuff muscles contribute to movement. Please check with the appropriate … 2015. Ginn. In order to maintain that balance of tension around the head of the humerus that we’ve been talking about, there needs to be sufficient activity from each of the muscles creating that tension. Made with by Yoganatomy.com and Wildheartmedia.com. Peterson, R.F.

Journal of Biomechanics.

Volume 2 (Second Edition). In healthy study participants, Happee and Van der Helm, 1995 found that most of the energy used for the actions of flexion and extension came from the bigger thoracoscapular muscles that contribute to these actions, not the smaller rotator cuff muscles, which contributed only a small percentage of energy to those actions. The four rotator cuff muscles are often listed as stabilizers of the glenohumeral joint.

1-9. Three of the muscles rotate the humerus externally (outward) and all attach to the greater tubercle. The rotator cuff is a group of four muscles in the shoulder.

2015. Kemp, and S.P.

The glenohumeral joint allows for a greater range of movement than any other joint in the body (Chaitow and DeLany, 2008).

This is why the healthy functioning of our rotator cuff muscles is so important.

In this article we’ll dig a little deeper and take a tour through what researchers report about how the rotator cuff muscles support movement in the body in real life. Several types of shoulder use commonly trigger rotator cuff injury: Pushing off with your arms — People with arthritis of the knee, other painful conditions in the legs, or weak quadriceps muscles in the thighs often compensate by pushing off with their arms when they rise from a chair.The shoulder is not built for this use. Researchers have suggested that the existence of our rotator cuff is directly related to supporting the movements that we do. 2008. Physical Therapy.

The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery. Otis, J.C., C.-C. Jiang, T.L. 87(8):1039-1046. The researchers have suggested that the reason for the anatomical change that occurred in advanced primates was due to their habit of frequent overhead reaching actions as well as the action of reaching out to the side. One of the muscles rotates the humerus internally (inward) and attaches to the lesser tubercle. All this available mobility is important to allow us to reach our arm in every direction and place our hands in position to do all kinds of vital everyday movements from eating to driving to brushing our hair to using tools.

Injury and pain to the rotator cuff muscles are caused due to overuse of your hands and shoulders. 1994. Electromyographic analysis of the shoulder girdle musculature during external rotation exercises. The rotator cuff group of muscles are a special group of muscles with an important job.

The rotator cuff muscles contribute to maintaining the balance of tension around the glenohumeral joint and maintaining the head of the humerus securely in the glenoid fossa (Dark et al., 2007; Sangwan et al., 2015).

In our previous article we went over the most commonly reported movements of the rotator cuff muscles. The four individual muscles are still present, but their tendons do not come together to form the blended tendons that create the “cuff” over the glenohumeral joint that we’re familiar with as the rotator cuff.

Exercises can help stretch and strengthen rotator cuff muscles to ease weakness, stiffness, and pain. The relative strength of the rotator cuff muscles. 91-B:1632-1637. If individual muscles are fatigued, then that can affect the balance of tension between them. The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery. Preventing translation is subtly different than simply stabilizing.

Maintaining this balance of tension is important in the long-term for just generally keeping our shoulder joint healthy. Both the intensity of the movement we’re asking the body to do (Alizadehkaiyet et al., 2015; Dark et al., 2007) and the position of the body (Wattanaprakornkul et al., 2011) impact which muscles are recruited to do an action and how much of the effort they contribute to. The four muscles that make up the rotator cuff are called: The moment arms of the muscles spanning the glenohumeral joint: a systematic review.

Wattanaprakornkul et al., 2011 found that supraspinatus and infraspinatus (as well as serratus anterior, deltoids, and trapezius) were more active when the shoulder was doing flexion, but subscapularis (as well as latissimus dorsi) were more active when the shoulder was doing extension. Balance between the force these muscles have on the humeral head allows the humeral head to stay securely in place while still allowing us to use the arm and other shoulder girdle muscles to do strong and/or dynamic movements with the upper body (Dark et al., 2007). There are always additional muscles that act as synergists to create a particular movement and other muscles that act as antagonists that resist a movement. Your physical therapist or doctor will evaluate you to figure out which muscles are too tight or weak. While performing the rotator cuff stretches below there are a number of muscles within the shoulder, chest and arm that are stretched. Taylor. But, in simple and more passive movements, they might be recruited less or hardly at all.

When a rotator cuff tear occurs, one or more of … 1993. But what does that mean? They prevent translation of the head of the humerus when we are moving the shoulder joint (Sangwan et al., 2015).

Hik and Ackland, 2019 reported that the rotator cuff muscles can also contribute weakly to depressing or elevating the humerus. The true rotator cuff was only found in more advanced primates (Sonnabend and Young, 2009). 37(12):1033-1043. As the shoulder joint is so mobile and people use it so frequently, it is very easy to injure the rotator cuff. It’s certainly possible, however, through overuse, improper form, or fatigue, for the body to recruit muscles that are not ideal as the primary source of power for that activity. When the humerus is externally rotated and we abduct the arm, the subscapularis works with supraspinatus to support that action (Otis et al., 1994). They allow us to do so many movements, both large and small, that are a part of our day to day activities and the sports that we enjoy. The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery. This supports the idea that the rotator cuff muscles are important for maintaining the balance of tension in all directions around the shoulder joint. The rotator cuff muscles have a direction specific recruitment pattern during shoulder flexion and extension exercises. All of this mobility could be problematic however, if we didn’t have muscles that also contribute to stability of the shoulder joint.