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Rotator Cuff Injuries in Cricket – How can a Chiropractor Help?

Cricket In addition to low back problems, rotator cuff injuries, especially rotator cuff tears are probably the most common and recurring injuries faced by cricketers. Dr Adam Rocchi, a South Perth Chiropractor, explains these issues in more detail.

What is the rotator cuff?

The rotator cuff is made up of four muscles that surround the shoulder joint. These 4 muscles are the teres minor, infraspinatus, supraspinatus, and subscapularis. The fact that the rotator cuff is responsible for stabilising your shoulder, means even a slight tear can affect how well you can move your arm.

How does the rotator cuff get injured?

Most injuries in the rotator cuff are due to an imbalance between the different muscles in the shoulder girdle.  For example weakness of the infraspinatus and teres minor will impair the ability to externally rotate, or shortening will limit internal rotation of the shoulder.  Internal rotation is important for the throwing action.

During throwing the internal rotators of the shoulder (subscapularis and teres major in particular), pull the humeral (the arm bone) head such that the humerus can reach rotational speeds of up to 7000 degrees per second.1  After release of the ball, the infraspinatus and teres minor contract hard to brake the humeral movement and stop the arm dislocating the shoulder.

Weakness of the internal rotators or tightness of the external rotators will decrease the force that can be achieved with the throw, reducing the throwing distance. The inverse increases the risk of shoulder injuries due to the inability to brake the movements described above.  This may occur as one large injury or over time as multiple minor injuries over time.

Traumatic injuries.

In addition to injuries due to muscle imbalances, traumatic shoulder injuries can occur due to falls and other impacts.  After fractures and dislocations have been ruled out, conservative management needs to be implemented.

Treating rotator cuff issues.

The Trigenics muscle treatment system used by Applecross chiropractor, Dr Rocchi, focuses on activating weak muscles and lengthening shorted muscles, not only for symptomatic injuries, but also to improve performance.  Unfortunately many cricketers don’t realise that they are carrying imbalances that are predisposing them to injury and compromising their performance.

  1. During the first stage of treatment, care will focus on reducing inflammation and pain and continues until activities of daily living are relatively pain free.
  2. The second stage focuses on increasing range of motion and increasing strength to “Day to day” levels.
  3. In the third stage care focuses on improving strength and range of motion further and introduces specific sport related training.
  4. Finally, in the fourth stage the cricketer makes a graduated return to play.

So if you are suffering from shoulder pain, call us now on (08) 61508785 in Scarborough or (08) 61508783 in Mount Pleasant to book an appointment.



  1. Seroyer ST, Nho SJ, Bach BR, Bush-Joseph CA, Nicholson GP, Romeo AA. The Kinetic Chain in Overhand Pitching: Its Potential Role for Performance Enhancement and Injury Prevention. Sports Health. 2010;2(2):135-146. doi:10.1177/1941738110362656.

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