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Rotator Cuff Injury Exercises and Physiotherapy

Rotator Cuff Injuries are common shoulder injury that is treated by physiotherapists.

Our shoulder rotator cuff consists of four main muscles and their tendons that works closely together

  • the subscapularis
  • the supraspinatus
  • the infraspinatus and
  • the teres minor

Together, they form the rotator cuff and it basically acts as an anchor for your shoulder, stabilizing the humeral head.

Are there different types of rotator cuff damages and injuries? What are they?

As there are a few structures involved in the rotator cuff, it then becomes prone to several types of injuries, which are listed here:

  • Rotator cuff inflammation if or when any of the tendons of the four muscles become inflamed due to physical stress or direct trauma, tendonitis happens.

    Inflammation and tendonitis causes swelling which increases the internal pressure and this can compress on other structures in the shoulder joint

  • Shoulder impingement syndrome - impingement simply means that a tendon of one of the four rotator cuff muscles becomes impinged, compressed or squeezed

  • Calcification of the rotator cuff tendonitis - sometimes, calcium gets deposited in the tendons of the rotator cuff (especially do in long term tendonitis cases), causing them to become hard (calcification) which causes pain as tendon glides with any movement

  • Shoulder bursitis - the shoulder joint has a bursa which is located just beneath our acromion – this is called the subacromial bursa, and it can become inflamed if the shoulder is overused

  • Rotator cuff tears - can happen when one of the tendons or the muscles of the rotator cuff gets stretched beyond what it can bear, and it tears.

    Tears can be partial or complete rupture. Tears happen usually from strong impacting forces such as road traffic accidents or falls, but they are also sometimes caused by gradual tears and micro-tears due to normal wear and tear as we age and use our hands.

What causes a rotator cuff injury?

Our shoulder is very easily injured as we use it all the time in almost every single thing we do, including

  • carrying
  • lifting
  • pulling stuff
  • driving cars
  • using tools

– these are but some of the activities that require our shoulders to exert force.

Also, traumatic incidences such as falls or road traffic accidents are common-occurring situations which can lead to a shoulder rotator cuff injury.

How do I know I have a rotator cuff injury?

Usually, people with injuries to their rotator cuff often get pain and tenderness in their shoulders, and sometimes their ache and pain can travel down the back of their hand.

Most of the time, the pain is very specific to shoulder-based movement such as reaching up to take something or pulling on a weighted object.

Our patients also often mention that they feel a “baseline ache”, and moreso if they put pressure on their affected shoulder.

Weakness and limited mobility is another common sign.

One thing to note is that if your pain comes as slow and gradual, it’s likely to be caused by wear and tear or tendinitis; but if you get the sudden, sharp ones, it’s likely due to a micro-tear in your rotator cuff.

How can our senior physiotherapists help a patient with rotator cuff injuries?

When you injure your rotator cuff, it’d be best you visit your physician who will refer you to an orthopedic surgeon who will advise you on the severity of the rotator cuff injury, and the options you have.

Most of the time if you have a complete rupture, you would have to undergo surgery to correct the problem.

However, if what you have is a micro-tear or partial-tear, the orthopedic surgeon may advise for conservation management (meaning no operation) and to undergo physiotherapy to maximize range, function and strength as your rotator cuff heals.

Some of the physiotherapy modalities we may use in the management and treatment of rotator cuff injuries includes:

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Email questions and your preferred physiotherapy timings to nigel@phoenixrehabgroup.com or

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Phoenix Rehab physio Services

Phoenix Rehab Group works with specialist physiotherapists and rehab therapists who are highly trained, qualified, experienced and passionate to provide high level of expert care to our patients.


Patients who sustained injuries to their elbows, forearms, hands, wrists (sprains and fractures) and fingers, and requires Hand Therapy to increase the function of their hand following injuries or post-operations as well as custom made hand splints.

Commonly treated hand pain injuries includes


Clinical Pilates is a form of physical exercise that focuses on posture, core stability, balance, control, strength, flexibility and breathing.

It is a system of safe and effective exercises, which meet specific individual needs, to treat a wide range of injuries and conditions.

You may do Pilates as matwork or with the reformer or both, and every session will be customized 100% to your fitness, injury and tolerance.



Sports and deep tissue release massage helps to increase nutrient-rich blood flow to tired, tight and tense muscles to

  • accelerate recovery and
  • shorten downtime / recovery period required

It also prevents muscles from scar tissue micro-tears (and potential ruptures), and increases muscle performance.

Done regularly, it will keeps your muscles healthy and fit with body/movement-confidence. Read the benefits of regular deep tissue release therapy here.

All our allied health therapists and TCM physicians are fully insured and registered with Allied Health Professions Council (AHPC) and Traditional Chinese Medicine Board (TCMB).

See our entire team here with introductions and their specializations.

At the first session, our specialist physiotherapists will carry out a thorough assessment, helping them to select the most appropriate treatment to help you recover as well as provide treatment in the same session.

Follow up sessions are inline to provide expert treatment for your pain as well as prescribing specific exercises to reduce your risk of re-injury and giving you a long term solution.

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We do not rely on advertising - instead, we prefer and appreciate the goodwill and positive reinforcement from patients. When you have the chance, please tell your family, friends and physicians about the positive results and experience you have had in our physio clinics.

book your physio appointments now

WhatsApp / SMS your name, preferred date, time and enquiries to +658800183

Email questions and your preferred physiotherapy timings to nigel@phoenixrehabgroup.com or

Clinic Locations: See how to get to us here