Rotator cuff is made up of tendons and muscles that are responsible for moving and stabilizing the shoulder joint. They also connect the upper arm bone to the shoulder blade. It also helps in holding the upper arm bone firmly in the shoulder socket.
Any type of damage to the rotator cuff tendons and muscles may result to rotator cuff injury. Some forms of rotator cuff injury may include pain to the shoulder blade, fluid accumulation to the joints and arthritis.
The pain caused by rotator cuff may be treated with some medications, therapies and exercises. However, severe cases may require surgery.
What are the Symptoms of Rotator Cuff Injury?
Symptoms of rotator cuff injury may include:
- Rotator cuff injury causes inflammation from the strain of the muscles. When the muscles are inflamed, it causes swelling and may reduce the movement of the affected area.
- There is pain and soreness in the shoulder particularly when the arms is moving, reaching or lifting.
- The shoulder may feel weakness
- Decrease range of motion
- Pain is felt over the shoulders even when there is only slight movement. Simple movements like combing the hair, bending the arm or carrying something may cause severe pain.
What are the Causes of Rotator Cuff Injury?
There are different causes of rotator cuff injury. Some of the causes are:
- Tendinitis is one of the reasons of rotator cuff injury. It is the inflammation of the tendons because of overused or overload. This is normally experienced by people who are active in sports that have overhead activities like in tennis.
- Strain can result to weakened tendon and may later lead to degeneration of the tendon.
- Normal wear and tear is another common reason of rotator cuff injury. As you aged, this will make you more prone to tendon degeneration.
- Calcium deposits that are stored in the bone may also irritate and damage the rotator cuff.
- Poor posture can also hurt the neck and the shoulders. Slouching the shoulders and neck can create space and the space where the cuff muscles are located may become smaller thus leading to pinch muscle.
- Falling due to accident can also harm the rotator cuff.
- Lifting heavy object may also bring unnecessary strain to muscles and tendons.
- Repetitive movements that stress the rotator muscles may also cause inflammation. This normally occurs to anyone who actively plays sports like tennis players and baseball pitchers.
What is the risk factors affecting Rotator Cuff Injury?
- Older people are more at risk of developing rotator cuff injury. Those who are 40 and above may develop rotator cuff injury later on.
- Those who are active in sports or athletes are also having great risk of developing rotator cuff injury than those who are not actively participating in sports.
- Those who do not practice good posture may also develop rotator cuff injury.
- Workers of construction trade like painters and carpenters may also develop rotator cuff injury.
- Those who have weak muscles may also experience pain to their back and shoulders.
What are the treatments for Rotator Cuff Injury?
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â 2. Rest
Resting the shoulder will minimize the pain. Try to avoid the activities that cause the pain. If you are active in sports, try to rest for a couple of days to weeks depending on the condition of your injury.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â 3. Heat and ice pack
Heat and ice pack may also relieve the inflammation and pain. You may use ice pack for 15 minutes for at least two days and when the inflammation is reduced, you may use warm heating pads to relax the muscles.
4. Exercise therapy
Exercise therapy is part of rehabilitation in order to reduce pain, heal the affected area and to help you regain the strength of your muscles. The exercises will be lead and administered by a licensed physical therapist.
Surgery is the last option for those who have rotator cuff injury who have severe tear to their muscles. Through surgery, the doctors will remove any calcium deposits or bone spur that damages the cuff.
Several treatments are available for rotator cuff injury. Along with the medications, lifestyle change may also be needed to prevent further damage to your muscles. You may ask your healthcare provider the right treatment to the severity of your condition.