Whether you’re brushing your teeth, picking up a baby, or simply driving a car, the rotator cuff in your shoulder gets quite a workout all day long. Shoulder pain is probably one of the most natural things that people ignore as resulting from a typical day’s work.
There is a group of four muscles and their supporting tendons that together form the rotator cuff. This supports the shoulder joint, giving it strength and mobility.
This muscle group keeps the head of the upper arm bone firmly within the shoulder. It stabilizes the related joints and also aids in proper movement of the shoulder and arm.
Who Gets a Rotator Cuff Injury?
People who are in a profession or sport that requires repeated overhead motions – such as painters, carpenters, and athletes – are especially at risk of rotator cuff injuries. In other cases, rotator cuff problems can come with age or because of family history.
Once damaged, the rotator cuff can cause pain and spasms. Also, arthritis and calcium deposits could form over time and cause difficulty in movement of the shoulder.
Treatment for an Injured or Torn Rotator Cuff
Physical therapy is essential to strengthening the muscles and ligaments in an injured rotator cuff. This enables the shoulder to regain its capabilities of a full range of motion.
Other nonsurgical treatment options for rotator cuff injuries include steroid injections and pain-relief medications. In case of a rotator cuff tear, if it is not healing on its own, surgery may be the next best alternative.
If surgery is necessary, your orthopedic surgeon will repair the damage either by using an arthroscope through a small incision or via a traditional open procedure. The type of operation depends on the severity and extent of the injury on the rotator cuff.
Preventing Shoulder Injuries
If a person is already into a kind of work, sport, or lifestyle which requires extensive movements of the shoulder, it’s important to follow certain techniques. Avoid repetitive-motion injuries by taking breaks, and avoid sports injuries by warming up and cooling down.
Athletes should also wear the appropriate gear to ensure safety. Baseball pitchers, tennis players, and golfers tend to be susceptible to a torn rotator cuff, so listen to your body and don’t push through the pain.
Expert Shoulder Specialists in Maryland
If you are experiencing shoulder pains, or if you are having trouble reaching behind your shoulder or lifting, it may indicate a rotator cuff injury. There may be a small tear or a full tear in the rotator cuff, so do not hesitate to seek medical help from a shoulder surgeon.
At Greater Chesapeake Hand to Shoulder, our orthopedic surgeons specialize in issues throughout the arm area – including the fingers, hands, wrists, arms, elbows, and shoulders. We will provide a physical evaluation and determine the least-invasive treatment possible to help you achieve pain relief and regain your functionality.
Call us today to schedule an appointment at (410) 296-6232 or fill out our online consultation request form. We look forward to helping you get back to the lifestyle you enjoy.