Rotator Cuff Tear Treatment North Vancouver

Looking for rotator cuff tear treatment North Vancouver? Our North Vancouver chiropractor clinic doctors are experts in diagnosis, treatment & rehab of rotator cuff strains and tears. 


What is the Rotator Cuff?

The rotator cuff is a group of 4 muscles that allow for stability and movement of the shoulder joint. These muscles include:
  • Supraspinatus
  • Infraspinatus
  • Teres minor
  • Subscapularis
The primary function of the rotator cuff is to act as a dynamic stabilizer and to hold the head of the humerus in place.

What is a Rotator Cuff Tear?

A rotator cuff tear is a tear or loss of integrity of one of the 4 rotator cuff muscles. The tear can be graded 1-3. A grade 1 tear occurs when there is minimal tearing and only minimal loss of range of motion and strength.
A grade 2 tear is a partial rotator cuff tear with more severe symptoms. A grade 3 tear is a full thickness rotator cuff tear, which is associated with severe loss of range of motion and strength.
The most commonly affected muscle is the supraspinatus muscle.
The tear can be acute from a trauma or they can occur over time due to repetitive strain and degeneration.

What causes a Rotator Cuff Tear?

Any motion that puts excessive strain on the rotator cuff can result in a tear.
This may include:
  • Lifting objects that are unexpectedly heavy.
  • Overhead throwing with increased speed.
  • A fall on outstretched arm.
  • Chronic repetitive impingement – this may occur over time with overhead activities such as volleyball, throwing or overhead work.

What are the signs and symptoms of a Rotator Cuff Tear?

  • Pain in the top or down the side of the shoulder/upper arm.
  • Pain behind or in between the shoulder blade.
  • Possible numbness or tingling down the shoulder, arm, forearm or hand.
  • Pain may be aggravated by:
    • Reaching up
    • Reaching behind (i.e. to put on a bra)
    • Lifting objects
    • Computer/desk work
    • Overhead movements
  • Pain may be relieved by:
    • Rest
    • Scapular retraction exercises
    • Ice
    • NSAIDS

Rotator Cuff Tear Treatment North Vancouver:

Grade 1-2 tears can be managed without surgery while 50% of grade 3 tears can also be managed without surgery. Rotator cuff tear treatment at the Mountain Health & Performance North Vancouver chiropractor clinic may include the following:
  • Laser Therapy: Therapeutic laser can help to improve blood flow and speed healing. It can also be useful short term for pain relief. Our North Vancouver chiropractor clinic has one of the only class IV laser’s in North Vancouver. Treatments with class IV laser are quick, painless and can be used on most patients. Slight warmth may be felt during treatment but there are no side-effects or post treatment soreness.
  • Myofascial Release Therapy: Myofascial release therapy targeted to capsule and muscular tension around the rotator cuff, spine and neck can help to reduce impingement of the rotator cuff, which can lead to tears in the first place. Our North Vancouver chiropractor clinic doctors are all well trained in various myofascial release techniques including ART and FR therapy.
  • Rehabilitation: The main goal of rehabilitation is to increase range of motion, strengthen the shoulder and to prevent frozen shoulder.These exercises will be targeted at relieving tension and of strengthening the rotator cuff, scapular stabilizers and spine. The exercises will be different for each patient because the location and grade of the tear, the length of time after injury & severity of pain and range of motion loss will all affect the exercises that are prescribed. Exercises can hurt or help the shoulder so they need to be appropriate for the individual patient. At mountain health and performance our chiropractors have extensive experience treating all types of shoulder injuries and will be able to help properly diagnose the severity and stage of your shoulder injury along with the dysfunction that needs to be address with treatment and rehabilitation. Our North Vancouver chiropractor clinic doctors are all trained in various rehab techniques including FRC and DNS. Dr. Wentzell also has a masters degree in rehabilitation sciences through the University of British Columbia, is a certified strength and conditioning coach and is completing a sports sciences residency program.

Mountain Health & Performance is back open for non-urgent care as of May 19th 2020! We will be following COVID-19 guidelines in our clinic to ensure the safety of our therapists and patients. Please call 604-984-0014 to book or click on the "book an appointment" button to book online.