Let’s Talk About The Rotator Cuff

As soon as you hear the words ‘Rotator Cuff’ it can often sounds like something sharp and fierce. We can assure you, a Rotator Cuff injury if left untreated, can definitely feel like this.

So, where and what is the Rotator Cuff?
Behind your shoulder blade, wrapping around your shoulder, is a small group of muscles and tendons known as your Rotator Cuff.

What does your Rotator Cuff do?

Although small in size, the Rotator Cuff is essential for effective arm movements and an injury can take you out of the game or everyday duties for weeks. The Rotator Cuff wraps around the top of the arm bone and keeps the shoulder within its socket. If it is damaged (stretched or torn), or even worse ruptured completely, moving the arm at all can become a real struggle.

What causes Rotator Cuff injuries?

Although there are many causes of injuries to the Rotator Cuff, the most common issues stem from:

  • Sports – excessive reaching or movement of the arm (on purpose or by accident), for example touch football, Austag, AFL, rugby league and other contact sports.
  • Age and gender can have a large part to play, men seem to be more susceptible to rotator cuff injuries and this increases with age.
  • Jobs that require heavy lifting, a lot of work above head height and use of the arms commonly experience rotator cuff injuries such as plastering, painting and carpentry.

How can our physiotherapists help?

As always, we prefer to deal on a prevention over cure basis. This means we focus on stopping injuries or illness’ before they occur so you can live your best life. Whether you are aware of ongoing weakness to do with your rotator cuff (through work or sport) or think you may already be injured, we can help in more ways than one.

To give you an idea, our team of expert physiotherapists & exercise physiologists will:

  • Design exercises that build the strength of the muscles in the rotator cuff
  • Work progressively with your range of motion and mobility of the arm
  • Support you through any worker’s compensation claims that you may have
  • Build your confidence in the gym environment to help your rehabilitation run smoothly
  • Work with your GP and use your scans to ensure you are treated effectively

Elin, is an alumni of St. Edward’s University and holder of a Bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology, furthered her academic journey by attaining a Doctor of Physiotherapy from Macquarie University in 2022.

Her passion for sports, particularly football (soccer), is evident in both her academic pursuits and personal endeavors. Specialising in the comprehensive well-being of athletes, Elin focuses on restoring them to peak performance while actively preventing future injuries.

Elin’s professional expertise is centered on musculoskeletal rehabilitation, with a specific emphasis on addressing and preventing knee injuries. Her approach integrates expert treatment with a commitment to educating and empowering patients, fostering their active involvement in enhancing their health and overall quality of life.

As an active participant in NPL football with SD Raiders, Elin brings firsthand experience and a profound understanding of the sport’s demands. Beyond the field, she extends her influence by contributing sports coverage over the weekends.

Christopher (Chris) Han graduated from the University of Sydney with a Bachelor’s Degree in Occupational Therapy, and then completed the Doctor of Physiotherapy program at Macquarie University in 2018. Chris is currently undertaking his PhD at the University of Sydney and Institute for Musculoskeletal Health in the field of low back pain and is due to complete this in early 2024. 

Chris is currently an assistant Physiotherapist for the NRL Referees. Chris has previous experience as the head Physiotherapist at Panthers Premier League Netball and a number of elite sporting athletes in the private setting.

Through Chris’ experiences, he has a particular interest in all areas of the body and musculoskeletal physiotherapy, sports, vestibular rehabilitation, and Men’s Health (pre and post prostate surgery).

Suzanne graduated from Western Sydney University with a Bachelor of Health Science (Sports and Exercise Science) in 2015. She then went on to continue her studies at Macquarie University graduating from the Doctor of Physiotherapy post-graduate degree in June 2019.

Since graduating, Suzanne has worked in the local Penrith area in both private practice and Sports Physiotherapy. Suzanne has worked with sporting teams including Penrith District Netball Association, Mt Druitt Rangers (NPL), Penrith Valley Figure Skating Club, and local dance and cheer schools. 

Suzanne has a particular interest in working with artistic athletes including cheerleaders and dancers. She has a professional background in both cheer and dance and has previously worked as both a cheer coach and dance teacher. Suzanne’s previous experiences are an invaluable resource to her as a physiotherapist, as she has a thorough understanding of the level of physical fitness and skill acquisition that these athletes must have in order to be successful on stage and in competition.

Suzanne’s other areas of clinical interest reside in lower limb musculoskeletal injuries, spinal pathologies and women’s health.

Nathanial graduated as a physiotherapist in 2012 which saw him work in private practice and hospital settings gaining experience in all areas of physiotherapy including hand therapy, splinting/casting, pre/post-operative care, Men’s Health and general musculoskeletal, occupational and sports physiotherapy. Since then he has gone on to complete further studies in physiotherapy enabling him to be the only dual titled Musculoskeletal, Sports and Exercise Physiotherapist in Penrith.

Nathanial has a strong background in sports physiotherapy achieving accreditation with NSWIS as a service provider and working with many elite sports teams.

Nathanial has a particular interest in working with elite athletes, complex cases and in particular assessment and management of knee, hip and shoulder pain.

Andrea graduated from the Australian Catholic University completing her Bachelor of Exercise and Sports Science in 2018 and Master’s of Clinical Exercise Physiology in 2020. After graduating she attained accreditation with ESSA as an Exercise Physiologist.

During her studies she gained clinical experience in both hospital and private practice settings, in cardiac rehabilitation, neurological conditions, cancer and chronic musculoskeletal injuries.

Since working at Progressive, Andrea has a specialist interest in treating musculoskeletal injuries, helping people in the mid-late stage of rehab to get them to return to sport or work. As well as helping people manage chronic conditions such as arthritis, osteoporosis and diabetes.