Medical Treatment For Rotator Cuff Injury
For minor rotator cuff injuries, it is usually enough to take rest and use ice and physical therapy to relieve the symptoms. You may need a combination of medication and therapy to deal with a severe injury.
You may have to take a steroid injection if conservative treatments don’t seem to work in your case. A steroid injection is usually the option when the pain starts interfering with your daily activities, sleep, or exercise. You will have to take an injection into your shoulder joint, and it helps with the pain, but it may weaken the tendon if not used judiciously.
There are different situations when you’ll have no choice but to go for rotator cuff surgical procedures.
- Bone Spur: Your pain can be due to an overgrowth of bone that irritates your shoulder cuff. You will have to undergo a surgical procedure to remove the excess bone and fix the damaged tendon.
- Tendon Replacement and Repair: A surgical procedure is necessary to fix a torn rotator cuff tendon, but if it is seriously damaged and cannot be attached back to the arm bone, your surgeon may consider replacing it with a nearby tendon.
- Shoulder Replacement: Severe rotator cuff injuries may call for serious measures, and you may even have to go for a shoulder replacement surgery. The reverse shoulder arthroplasty is a common choice to improve the stability of the artificial joint.
What Does The Rotator Cuff Physical Therapy Process Look Like
Oftentimes, people choose physical therapy for rotator cuff injuries because they dont want to have surgery.
Physical therapy can help heal the intact portion of the rotator cuff in hopes of avoiding surgical intervention.
The goal of rotator cuff physical therapy protocol is to:
- Identify any deficits in strength or function
- Strengthen the functional areas
- Increase range of motion
Symptoms Of A Rotator Cuff Injury
How can you tell if you have a rotator cuff injury?
The symptoms typically get worse over time and may include:
- Pain or swelling on the front of your shoulder or down the outside of your arm
- Pain or swelling when raising or lowering your arm
- A popping or clicking sound when your arm is moved
- The inability to lift your arm to reach up or behind your back
- A feeling of heaviness or weakness in your arm
- Pain that disturbs your sleep
- The inability to perform your daily activities due to pain and a limited range of motion
If any of these symptoms sound familiar, Pro~PT can help.
Get in touch with us today to see if you may be a candidate for rotator cuff physical therapy in Fresno West.
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When To See Your Doctor
Shoulder pain is common. If youre experiencing pain for an obvious reason, like after overexertion, give yourself time to rest and recover.
If youre experiencing more serious pain that doesnt improve with rest, ice, and OTC pain relievers, it may be time to call your doctor. If pain worsens, inhibits your range of motion, or interferes with your normal day-to-day activities , be sure to call your doctor.
If you get injured and feel a pop or tearing sensation in your shoulder and you cant lift your arm, seek immediate medical attention.
How Is A Rotator Cuff Injury Treated
Treatments range from resting the affected arm to surgery. Tendinitis can progress to a rotator cuff tear, and that injury can get worse with time. Seeking treatment as quickly as possible helps to keep the injury from progressing.
Nonsurgical treatments improve symptoms in about 80 percent of people with a rotator cuff injury. These kinds of treatments include:
- applying hot or cold packs to the affected shoulder to reduce swelling
- exercises to restore strength and range of motion
- physical therapy
- injecting the affected area with cortisone, a steroid that helps to reduce inflammation
- resting the affected arm and wearing a sling to isolate arm motions
- over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications, like ibuprofen and naproxen
According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, theres no evidence that the timing of surgery affects outcomes. This means if you have a rotator cuff injury, your doctor is likely to first try nonsurgical methods.
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How Can A Rotator Cuff Injury Be Prevented
Athletes and people with occupations that require using the shoulder should take frequent rest breaks. This can reduce the load on the shoulder.
Exercises to strengthen the shoulder and encourage range of motion also can help. Ask your physical therapist for stretches and strengthening exercises to improve the function of your rotator cuff.
In the case of shoulder pain, icing the affected area can help reduce swelling. Apply ice in a cloth-covered pack for no more than 10 minutes at a time.
What Are The Complications Of A Rotator Cuff Injury
The most common complication is re-tearing the rotator cuff after its healed. The larger the original tear, the higher the risk of a re-tear.
If the injury requires surgical repair, the risk of postoperative complications is small. General surgical risks include blood loss or issues with anesthesia. Complications related to the procedure itself include:
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What Is A Rotator Cuff
A rotator cuff is a group of tendons and muscles located in the shoulder and upper back. It connects the upper part of the arm to the shoulder blade. The tendons in the rotator cuff are responsible for shoulder stability. The muscles in the rotator cuff allow the shoulder to rotate.
To understand how important the rotator cuff is, its good to know how the shoulder works. The shoulder is made up of three bones: the humerus , scapula , and clavicle . The shoulder is a ball-and-socket type joint. The ball, or head, of your upper arm bone fits precisely into a shallow socket in your shoulder blade.
What Are The 6 Home Remedies For Shoulder Pain
1. Over the counter Non-steroidal Anti-inflammatory medications or NSAIDs. There are two major generic types of NSAIDs: Ibuprofen and Naproxen.
Both used to be by prescription and are relatively safe to use per their labels. Brand names include Advil and Aleve . Use only if approved by your physician.
2. Apply heat to your shoulder. A mild hot shower can accomplish this on your shoulder for about 5 to 10 minutes. Often patients have shoulder pain from sleeping. A good hot shower can certainly help with this pain. Or you can use an electric heating pad. If using the electric heating pad, set on medium heat, not high heat level. Always check your skin to make to avoid burning your skin.
Research shows us that our bodies respond to medium heat levels better than intense heat levels. Also, microwave pellets or rice bags work well at home. Again, check your skin to make sure the heat is not causing a burn.
Be careful not to apply heat to an acute or recent injury. Check out this article to understand the difference between heat and ice.
A shoulder injury from the workout.
3. Apply ice to your shoulder. A cold pack inside a pillowcase for ten minutes can certainly help your shoulder. Ice massage is also an option. Ice should not be left in direct contact with the skin for over 5 minutes due to the possibility of frostbite.
Soak immersed in the tub for 10 to 15 minutes. The salts are soothing to the skin and very relaxing. You can also add essential oils to the bath as well.
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What Are Tips For Preventing Rotator Cuff Injuries
Accidents happen and falls may be difficult to prevent, especially in sports. However, precautions can be taken to lower the risk of injury:
- Overuse injuries may be prevented by appropriately warming up before performing tasks that will stress the shoulder joint. This applies to daily and work activities as well as sports. Stretching before or after an activity is also a reasonable prevention strategy.
- In sports or on the job, proper technique for the activity being performed may help minimize the risk of injury.
What Is Rotator Cuff Tendinopathy
Rotator cuff tendinopathy is when a tendon in your shoulder has tiny tears in it or is inflamed and hurts. Itâs usually caused by overuse or general wear and tear. Sometimes called tendinosis or tendinitis, this type of shoulder pain is more common in people over age 30. If itâs not treated, it can lead to stiffness or weakness in your shoulder and other long-term problems.
Each of your shoulders is made up by a group of muscles and tendons called a rotator cuff. This keeps your upper arm inside your shoulder socket. It also gives you the strength and motion to rotate and lift your arms.
The wear and tear on shoulders from repeated overhead activities can lead to recurrent injury and rotator cuff problems. This includes common activities like weightlifting, swimming, tennis, golf, and many physical jobs. While historically this was called tendinitis, that term is now used for more sharp, inflammatory shoulder pain.
People older than age 40 are most likely to have rotator cuff problems, in general. Genes may also play a part. If someone else in your family has shoulder issues, then you may be prone to get them, too.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Rotator Cuff Tear
Symptoms may be a bit different for each person. Symptoms may include:
Pain that keeps coming back, especially when doing certain things, such as lifting over your head
Pain that prevents you from sleeping on your injured side
Grating or cracking sounds when moving your arm
Limited ability to move your arm
The symptoms of a rotator cuff tear may be caused by other conditions or health problems. Always talk with your healthcare provider for a diagnosis.
Home Remedies For Rotator Cuff Injury
You don’t usually have to do much to fix a minor injury. If the pain is not severe, you can always try certain home remedies to trigger healing.
1. Give Your Shoulder Some Rest
If it is a repetitive injury, take a break from what caused the pain in the first place. Limit overhead activity and heavy lifting until your pain subsides.
2. Use Ice and Heat Packs
Using an ice pack will help reduce pain and inflammation. You should put ice on your shoulder for 20 minutes or so and repeat it every 3-4 hours. Once the inflammation reduces, you can use hot packs to relax sore muscles.
3. Take Painkillers
Consider taking OTC pain relievers such as naproxen, ibuprofen, or acetaminophen to deal with pain.
4. Practice Exercises for Rotator Cuff
In addition to these, you should also consider performing range-of-motion exercises to improve the functionality of your shoulder. Working with a physiotherapist is a good idea because they will help you understand how to stretch and strengthen the muscles around your shoulder using proper exercise moves.You can always start with some of the following exercises, but consult your doctor if the pain persists or aggravates.
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Symptoms Of Rotator Cuff Tendinopathy
If you have rotator cuff tendinopathy, you will notice pain in the outer part of your upper arm and sometimes the front and top of your shoulder. This could be worse when you raise your hands above your head or reach behind you. It could also wake you up at night.
You also might notice:
- Swelling and tenderness in the front of your shoulder
- A âclickingâ in your shoulder when you raise your arms over your head
- Loss of strength or range of motion
- Joint stiffness
Best Treatments For Rotator Cuff Injury
Most of us are unaware of the role shoulder plays in catering our day to day living. Well, until you injure it. A shoulder that is injured of any sort including rotator cuff injury, can affect your daily physical activities like taking a shower, brushing your teeth, and even sleeping very frustrating and difficult.
Our shoulder is prone to rotator cuff injury more than you think. Our rotator cuff is made of four muscles teres minor, subscapularis, infraspinatus, and supraspinatus. And if any of the muscles get injured or hurt, you have a rotator cuff injury. Rotator cuff injuries can be caused due to many several reasons. A rotator cuff injury is basically a torn rotator cuff that occurs as a result of falling on your shoulder or getting hit in the shoulder while doing different activities including sports.
It is one of the most common shoulder injuries one may experience and its symptoms may include pain in the arm or weakness. There are several treatment procedures for rotator cuff injuries, but we are going to discuss the 10 best that shows effective results.
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Causes Of Rotator Cuff Tear And Pain
Common rotator cuff issues typically pertain to a torn rotator cuff due to falling or being hit on the shoulder while playing a sport like football or rugby. Repeated overuse of shoulders for certain activities like raking, lifting, painting, cleaning windows, etc., can also be a major reason for the problem as well.
Some other causes of rotator cuff pain include:
- Rotator Cuff Tendonitis caused by repeated overhead use
- Rotator Cuff Impingement caused when the cuff is squeezed between the humerus and nearby bone called tendon
- Frozen Shoulder also occurs when the humerus adheres to the shoulder blade
As you can figure out from the above causes, a rotator cuff tear is probably one of the common injuries suffered by the shoulder area. Its symptoms may include
- Pain when lifting and lowering your arm
- Weakness felt when lifting or rotating your arm
- Pain while resting or sleeping
- The occurrence of Crepitus- a grating sound produced by friction between bone and cartilage
Whatever the cause of your rotator cuff injury might be, the important thing to consider here is a way to find relief from its painful symptoms. Luckily for you, we have arranged a list of 10 natural remedies that can effectively help you get rid of your shoulder pain.
What Is A Rotator Cuff Injury
The rotator cuff consists of a group of four muscles and their tendons and is responsible for maintaining the stability of the shoulder joint.
There are various types of rotator cuff injuries, which include:
- Partial, complete, or acute tears
While rotator cuff tears are most common in people over 60, rotator cuff injuries can occur at any age and are most frequently seen in athletes and heavy laborers.
Rotator cuff injury should be taken seriously.
If left untreated, rotator cuff injuries may cause severe pain as well as a decrease in range of motion and the ability to use the arm.
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Common Rotator Cuff Injuries & Causes
There are many common causes of rotator cuff pain and/or injury, which is typically a torn rotator cuff, such as falling or being hit in the shoulder, such as in football or rugby but also unexpectedly falling during an activity. Overuse from repeated actions, such as lifting, painting, cleaning windows, swimming, swinging a tennis rack or golf club, or throwing a baseball, are common causes as well. Unfortunately, issues can also show up from natural wear and tear that comes from aging.
A rotator cuff tear is one of the most common injuries suffered from the shoulder area and is specifically an injury or tear to the rotator cuff tendon. Symptoms may include weakness and/or pain in the arm and is a common cause of pain and disability among adults. It has been reported that in 2008, close to 2 million people sought medical advice and/or treatment from a doctor for a rotator cuff problem in the U.S. alone.
Besides a rotator cuff tear, rotator cuff pain can also be causes be these problems:
Rotator Cuff Tendinopathy Treatment
Many times, rotator cuff injuries can be treated at home if the injury was sudden. Treatments include:
- Over-the-counter medicine. Anti-inflammatory pain relievers like aspirin, ibuprofen and naproxen can help ease your shoulder ache.
- Rest. Youâll need to stop any physical activity that causes or adds to your shoulder pain.
- Ice. A cold pack can help reduce swelling and pain. Use for 15 to 20 minutes every few hours.
- Heat. Once your pain starts to go away, you can use a heating pad to lessen any stiffness in your shoulder.
- Stretching. Your doctor can give you daily exercises to do at home to get your shoulder more flexible. Doing these in a hot shower may help.
Usually, a specific traumatic rotator cuff will heal in 2 to 4 weeks. But if it is a severe injury, or it is a chronic injury from wear, it may require months to improve. If the pain is getting in the way of your daily life or you injure yourself again, your doctor might suggest:
- Steroids. A shot injected in your shoulder joint can help with the soreness.
- Physical therapy. Your trainer can guide you through exercises to help you regain strength and motion in your shoulder.
- Surgery. This is rare. Unless youâre young and had an acute, traumatic shoulder injury, surgery is a last resort for rotator cuff tears.
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What Causes A Rotator Cuff Tear
More commonly, rotator cuff tears occur over time as the tendon wears down with age and use . People over 40 are most at risk.
Causes of degenerative tears include:
- Bone spurs: Bony growths can form on the top of the shoulder bone. These bone spurs rub against the tendon when you lift your arm. This shoulder impingement creates friction between the bone and tendon. Eventually, a partial or complete tear may occur.
- Blood flow to the rotator cuff decreases as you get older. Your muscles and tendons need a healthy blood supply to repair themselves. If blood doesnt nourish the tendons, they can tear.
- Overuse: Repetitive shoulder movements during sports or on the job can stress muscles and tendons, causing a tear.