Healing for Rotator Cuff Injury: Chiropractic and Low Level Laser Therapy

Healing for Rotator Cuff Injury: Chiropractic and Low Level Laser Therapy

Rotator cuff tear is the most common shoulder disease in patients with shoulder problems with an estimated 200,000 people each year experiencing a painful rotator cuff injury. The good news is these injuries are very treatable, especially with chiropractic care and outcomes are very good.

The rotator cuff is comprised of a group of four major muscles and several additional muscles on the shoulder blade with tendons that attach to the “ball” of the humerus (upper arm bone). All four muscles must work together to ensure alignment.

These muscles and tendons help to lift and rotate the arms by holding the ball of the humerus firmly in the shoulder socket by maintaining proper alignment of the head of the arm with the glenoid fossa on the scapula (shoulder blade). The glenoid fossa is a very shallow socket on the scapula which connects the arm to the body.

The shoulder joint is very flexible and for this reason it is very vulnerable to injury. Rotator cuff tears or injuries usually involve the supraspinatus muscle, one of the four muscles of the shoulder blade. Its position in the front of the shoulder blade makes it particularly vulnerable to being pinched or impinged causing pain when raising the arm especially when rotating the arm inward. This impingement may cause the supraspinatus muscle to partially or completely tear. Consequent swelling, the body’s natural response to injury, aggravates the symptoms of pain and discomfort.

The tendons of your rotator cuff can also tear either slightly or completely tear away from the bone causing even the smallest shoulder–arm movements like combing your hair, dressing, or lifting a sack of groceries not only difficult but painful.

Rotator cuff pain ranges from mild to sharp and can be felt on the top and front of the shoulder. The pain may radiate down the outside of your upper arm. Clicking, cracking, or popping sounds when moving the injured shoulder, especially when lifting something heavy, are typical of rotator cuff injury.

  • The tendons and muscles of your rotator cuff can tear for many reasons:

  • an injury such as falling or receiving a blow to the shoulder

  • overuse repetitive actions involving shoulder movement like painting, cleaning windows, throwing, weightlifting

  • natural wear and tear from years of use

  • poor form or improper exercise

  • poor posture or sleep position

Chiropractic care treats shoulder pain without medication, injections or invasive surgery. With a comprehensive therapeutic approach at Wagner Chiropractic we are able to provide you with relief from pain, a fuller range of motion, and a significantly enhanced physical vitality and sense of well-being. Rather than mask the pain with drugs we focus on healing the underlying injury with leading edge therapies. These therapies include chiropractic adjustments, low level laser therapy(1), acupuncture, shockwave(2) and physical therapy.

In particular, low level laser therapy (LLLT), also known as cold laser, is a medical grade, painless therapeutic laser treatment we use that effectively reduces the inflammation and pain of rotator cuff injury and other painful conditions. This clinically proven therapy is non-invasive and safe to use immediately after injury. Additionally, LLLT restores the health of surrounding tissue and normal function by generating healing on cellular level. This leading edge therapy targets the underlying problem so that healing and relief from pain become possible. In fact, a lessening of pain can often be felt immediately after treatment. Because of the healing benefits of LLLT, the shoulder’s normal range of motion is restored.

Physical therapy may begin with stretches and then may move into weight assisted strengthening exercises in order to rebuild damaged tissue.

Shockwave is a revolutionary new treatment to stimulate rapid healing response.

These therapies are priced much lower than stem cell and prolotherapy(3) and have shown a similar response in clinical studies.

Call us at Wagner Chiropractic to have a complimentary consultation and your first call for a second opinion.

  1. sometimes also referred to as low level light therapy or photobiomodulation (PBM)–a low intensity light therapy

  2. acoustic waves applied to create faster and long-term healing and regeneration of tissues

  3. also called proliferation therapy, an injection-based treatment used in chronic musculoskeletal conditions



John M. Eisenberg Center for Clinical Decisions and Communications Science. “Treatment Options for Rotator Cuff Tears.” Current Neurology and Neuroscience Reports., U.S. National Library of Medicine, 29 Oct. 2010, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK51223/.

Hawk, Cheryl. The Praeger Handbook of Chiropractic Health Care: Evidence-Based Practices. Praeger, An Imprint of ABC-CLIO, LLC, 2017.