The rotator cuff consists of muscles and tendons that keep the humerus (the head of the upper arm bone) in the shoulder socket. Because you have the rotator cuff, you can perform various shoulder motions, such as raising and rotating the arm and moving your arms over your head, especially when swimming or playing baseball or tennis. However, it is easy to experience a rotator cuff tear West Chester since its function makes it susceptible to progressive wear and tear and instant injuries. A rotator cuff problem is a common source of pain and disability among adult Americans.
Subsequently, below are a few things you may need to remember about the rotator cuff tear.
Symptoms of a rotator cuff tear
If you have an inflammation of one or more rotator cuff tendons, you may feel pain from the tip of your shoulder or outer upper arm. The pain often worsens when you position the arm over the shoulder level or rest on your side.
A painful rotator cuff will make it difficult to perform everyday activities such as sleeping and hair brushing. For instance, if you sleep on or roll onto the affected shoulder, the pain may disrupt your sleep so that you change into a comfortable position.
Also, when you move your arm, it may make a clicking or popping sound.
Diagnosis of rotator cuff tear
A specialist in rotator cuff tear will physically examine your shoulder and test the strength and movement of your arm and shoulder.
Sometimes, your health provider may also subject you to a medical imaging test such as an x-ray or MRI scan to identify the precise location of the rotator cuff tear and determine its severity.
Conservative treatments of rotator cuff tear
Your health provider will often recommend you undergo non-invasive treatments if your rotator cuff tear is not severe. Conservative treatment focuses on reducing inflammation, pain, and discomfort and helping you regain your full range of shoulder motion.
Therefore, one of the common conservative treatments your doctor may recommend is physical therapy. You will perform various exercises regularly to relieve stiff and weak shoulder muscles.
You may also benefit from heat and ice therapy, massage, resting, cortisone shots, and using medications that provide relief against pain and inflammation.
For instance, resting makes you avoid activities that may aggravate your condition, like lifting objects above shoulder level.
Surgery for fixing rotator cuff tear
You may undergo surgery as a last resort if conservative treatments fail to provide significant relief. Your surgeon may perform arthroscopic surgery to reattach your torn tendons of the rotator cuff. Open surgery is necessary if the rotator cuff tear is large and complex.
After surgery, you must rest for at least six weeks to give your tendons sufficient time to heal and form a strong attachment to the bone.
It is possible to prevent rotator cuff tears by always having a good posture, exercising regularly, avoiding repetitive overhead activities, and avoiding lifting heavy objects with an outstretched arm.
Contact Beacon Orthopedics & Sports Medicine today to schedule an appointment with a specialist in rotator cuff tear and learn more about treatment options.