When we talk about the Rotator Cuff in relation to shoulder function we are basically describing four muscles which stabilise the shoulder joint (Glenohumeral Joint) or in other words the 4 muscles which hold the arm into the shoulder joint.
In Kinesiology certain muscles fall into different meridians groups as in Chinese Medicine. The Rotator Cuff muscles are Supraspinatus (Central Meridian), Infraspinatus (Triple Warmer) Teres Minor (Triple Warmer) and Subscapularis (Heart Meridian).
So looking at the Supraspinatus and the Central Meridian. The Central Meridian is linked to clear energy flow upwards towards the brain. So when the Supraspinatus Muscle is working effectively you have clear thinking and able to make good decisions. Emotional upsets and stress can interrupt the flow restrict clear thinking and eventually damage the Supraspinatus.
Infraspinatus and Teres minor are muscles which both relate to the Triple Warmer Meridian so any dysfunction can be an indicator for Thymus and Thyroid function. These 2 Meridians are often associated with hyperactivity , fight and flight as well as weight gain. Infraspinatus can be further stressed by heavy metal poisoning. Weakness can show up also in the elbows and wrists. Both muscles respond well to iodine rich foods such as fish and seaweed.
The Subscapularis is under the shoulder blade (almost hidden) and associated with the Heart Meridian. If you look metaphorically at the Subscapularis muscle it about what is being hidden. The emotions of love, hate and compassion all fall under the heart meridian. Do your head and heart always communicate?
So these 4 small muscles and tendons basically provide support to the joint itself. So injury or overuse can cause pain reduced range of movement and a variety of painful conditions including frozen shoulder, bursae, and shoulder impingement.
So if you look at the shoulder more generally some larger muscles such as Deltoids , Traps and Pecs, Rhomboids can all effect should movement but the Rotator Cuff allows the movement to be smooth, stable and supported.
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