Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment for a Chronic Rotator Cuff Tear: A Case Report

Cureus. 2023 Sep 30;15(9):e46292. doi: 10.7759/cureus.46292. eCollection 2023 Sep.


Rotator cuff tears, particularly involving the supraspinatus muscle and/or tendon, are highly prevalent among individuals engaged in repetitive shoulder motions. Occupations demanding constant and repetitive shoulder movements are especially susceptible to rotator cuff injuries, potentially leading to prolonged joint wear and tear and an increased likelihood of joint replacement. Considering the impact of social determinants of health, including access to healthcare and socioeconomic status, it is imperative to explore conservative treatment modalities that alleviate financial burdens and reduce lengthy recovery periods. In this report, we present a case of a 64-year-old female hairdresser diagnosed with a chronic partial thickness rotator cuff tear who remained unresponsive to physical therapy and chiropractic manipulation but exhibited improvement following osteopathic manipulative treatment. Additionally, osteopathic considerations and pertinent literature are reviewed to provide insight into the broader context of shoulder pain management.

Keywords: chronic shoulder pain; counterstrain; muscle energy; non-opiate pain control; osteopathic manipulative medicine; rotator cuff pathology; rotator cuff repair surgery; rotator cuff tear management; rotator cuff tears; supraspinatus.

Publication types

  • Case Reports