If you live in the greater Kansas City area, chances are you could benefit from a rotator cuff massage. Why? Because cities in and around Kansas City are very high on “active cities” lists.
Healthy people are more active. Nearly all competitive sports and workouts involve the use of your shoulders, home of the infamous “rotator cuff.”
What is the Rotator Cuff?
There isn’t a single piece of anatomy that is called the “rotator cuff.” It’s not a bone, tendon, ligament, or single muscle.
The rotator cuff is actually a collection of four muscles that maintain stability and allow a nearly 360 degree range of motion in the shoulder joint. Because the shoulder is the most mobile of all the joints in your body, it’s also the most complicated.
While there are ligaments and tendons that provide some minor support to the humerus (long bone of the upper arm), your arm is basically connected to your body by these four muscles.
The Four Muscles of the Rotator Cuff
You can remember the four muscles of the rotator cuff by using the mnemonic “SITS.”
The Supraspinatus Muscle attaches to the top edge of the back of the scapula. It allows movement of the arm away from the body, a motion knows as “abduction.”
The Infraspinatus Muscle attaches to the main body of the scapula. It is the main stabilizer of the shoulder joint and allows external rotation of the arm.
The Teres Minor Muscle attaches to the outside edge of the scapula and is considered the “little brother” of Infraspinatus. It assists Infraspinatus in external rotation of the arm.
The Subscapularis Muscle attaches the front side of the scapula to the humerus. It is responsible for internal rotation and adduction (bringing closer to the body) of the upper arm. It is also primarily responsible for stabilizing the arm in the shoulder joint.
The Glenohumeral Joint
The technical name for the shoulder joint is the Glenohumeral (GH) joint. It is a ball and socket joint, meaning the head of the humerus is rounded and fits into a matching rounded space on the scapula. There are connective tissues that hold these bones together and provide smooth movement of these two bones together.
The entire joint is held together by the “resting action” of the rotator cuff muscles. This means that even when you are not actively moving your arm, the rotator cuff muscles remain tensed.
As you can imagine, many of your daily and recreational activities require frequent movement of the shoulder. Repetitive or especially strenuous motion can cause pain and muscle tension in one or more of the SITS muscles.
Some of your daily activities that can be affected by SITS pain include:
- Computer and mouse usage
- Manual labor occupations such as:
- Assembly lines
- Massage Therapists (!)
- Personal grooming
The people of Kansas City love to workout and play sports. Most of these activities can be hampered by chronic rotator cuff pain:
- Racquet sports, such as:
- Pull-ups and shoulder presses
- Painting and drawing
Mobile Massage Therapy for Rotator Cuff Pain
You probably know about all the benefits of ordering a mobile massage in Kansas City. Added to that long list, is the reduction in aggravation of your rotator cuff muscles that can be caused by driving to your massage session.
When I arrive for your appointment to address your rotator cuff pain, I will begin by assessing the range of motion of your GH joint. I will ask you to show me the motions that cause the most pain. This is an important examination, as it can help identify the muscles that are in most need of massage.
If you’ve read through the articles on this website about the individual muscles involved, you will already know that shoulder pain can be hard to identify because of the unusual pain referral patterns of trigger points in the SITS muscles.
Using deep tissue and trigger point therapy, along with other advanced techniques, such as active release, PNF stretches, and Structural Integration, I’m confident that your Kansas City mobile massage session can resolve your rotator cuff pain.