Rotator Cuff Injury
The rotator cuff is what helps to give the shoulder its range of motion, and is a common site of injury. Made up of four tendons, the rotator cuff helps connect muscles to the bones. Injury of the rotator cuff may result in pain and the inability to freely move the joint. Rotator cuff tears are a common overuse injury and conventional treatment often means cortisone injections or even surgery. Acupuncture is also an effective treatment as an adjunct or alternative option to surgery. Trigger point needling is especially effective in the treatment of rotator cuff injuries as it helps to release knots within the muscle fibers, ultimately reducing pain and increasing blood flow to the area. Electric stimulation combined with acupuncture is often used for rotator cuff injury as it may help to stimulate muscle growth and healing.
Frozen shoulder or adhesive capsulitis is another common shoulder ailment. This condition is characterized by pain and loss of mobility in the shoulder joint and is caused by inflammation in the shoulder capsule. Acupuncture can help to reduce swelling and decrease inflammation in the joint. Acupuncture can also help to improve circulation, bringing vital blood to the area to help nourish the joint and surrounding tissues. In addition to acupuncture, gua sha is a very effective tool for treating frozen shoulder. Gua sha is a scraping technique used within Chinese medicine, which helps to break up adhesions within the fascia and muscle fibers that may be contributing to pain and impairment of range of motion. Tui na or Chinese massage and stretching is also an important modality in helping to improve mobility within the joint.