Tom Clark's Blog

Signs That You Have A Rotator Cuff Injury And What To Do

Ever had searing shoulder pain with no explanation as to why? Perhaps you go to stretch, and suddenly feel a sharp pain in your shoulder. Maybe you only feel the pain when you make certain motions or sudden movements.
Regardless of how it happens, shoulder or rotator cuff pain can be excruciating and debilitating.
If you are suffering shoulder pain and cannot figure out why you may be suffering from a rotator cuff injury.
Here, you will learn all about the signs and symptoms of rotator cuff injuries, and what you can do to find relief and remedies.
[b]Rotator Cuff Pain: The Basics[/b]
Before we get into how to treat this injury, it is important to understand the anatomy of the body part dealt with. What exactly is a rotator cuff anyways?
[url=]The rotator cuff[/url] comprises of four muscles, each of which assists in the stability and motion of the shoulder joint. One or any of these muscles can get damaged via chronic or acute injury. Aging also can contribute to the deterioration and pain in a rotator cuff.
Damage to these muscles can cause horrible pain, and hinder one's ability to use their full range of motion or otherwise use their shoulder.
To [url=]learn about this injury[/url], one must understand the various damage that can occur to a rotator cuff.
Injuries to rotator cuffs happen most often for those who perform overhead motions repetitively in their daily jobs or in the playing of sports. Examples of such jobs include painters, roofers, and those who play golf, baseball, tennis, or any sport that involves the repeated movement of the shoulder.
[b]Signs and Symptoms of Rotator Cuff Injuries[/b]
While there are [url=]various symptoms and characteristics[/url] of rotator cuff injuries, some of the most prominent include:
[ul][li]Dull aching deep within the shoulder[/li][li]Swelling or tenderness in the shoulder[/li][li]"Clicking" type noises in the shoulder when making certain motions[/li][li]Difficulty reaching behind your back to do motions such as shampooing or throwing motions[/li][li]Arm weakness[/li][/ul] There are many more feelings and signs associated with rotator cuff injuries.
These symptoms may be illustrative of both acute ailments and more serious shoulder injuries, such as rotator cuff tendonitis or a rotator cuff tear.
[b]Causes and Risks For Rotator Cuff Injuries[/b]
Injuries to rotator cuffs can get caused by an immediate injury sustained to the shoulder, but in many instances will be the result of gradual wear and tear of the tendons.
Activities that require you to raise your hands repetitively or lift heavy objects can cause or exacerbate any damage to your tendons.
There are a variety of factors that can increase the risk of rotator cuff injury. Increased age also increases the relative risk of rotator cuff injuries, as rotator cuff injuries are most prevalent in those who are aged over 40. Sports, where repetitive arm motions take place (baseball, tennis), make the risk of injury inherently greater.
Jobs such as construction or painting, which require repetitive arm motions, often can lead to damage to the rotator cuff eventually.
Finally, family history may be a factor in the risk of a shoulder injury, as there may be a genetic component to these ailments.
[b]Types of Rotator Cuff Injuries[/b]
As mentioned before, rotator cuff injuries can be acute or chronic. There are various types of rotator cuff injuries including:
[b]1. General Rotator Cuff Wear - [/b]As we age and use our shoulders in the normal course of our lives, general wear and tear can eventually cause an injury to the rotator cuff.
[b]2. Bursitis - [/b] This is an irritation of the bursa, a fluid-filled sac found between the shoulder joint and tendons of the rotator cuff.
[b]3. Tendon Tear - [/b]The tendons, which connect muscle to the bone, can partially or fully tear from a sudden injury or over time from repeating actions. Tendonitis left untreated can also lead to a tear of the tendons.
[b]4. [url=]Tendonitis[/url] - [/b]This is an inflammation of your rotator cuff tendons from excessive use. This injury is common among those who use their rotator cuff repetitively, such as in sports or jobs that require constant overhead use of the shoulder.
[b]5. Shoulder Impingement - [/b]A common cause of shoulder pain, this occurs when the rotator cuff scratches against the shoulder bones. This causes constant pain, and the tendons get swollen during this time as well. Without treatment, tears in the rotator cuff are possible.
[b]Now What? Treating Rotator Cuff Injuries[/b]
It's all good and well to discover the cause and reasons for your rotator cuff pains, but what comes next? Surely it is of no use to simply know what you have.
So, how does one treat these rotator cuff pains?
For starters, over the counter medicine is often a first step in easing pain and alleviating inflammation. Aspirin and ibuprofen are often excellent medicines to ease aches.
Next, it's recommended that you rest in order to heal your rotator cuff. You should immediately cease any physical activities that cause you pain in your shoulder. Ice is also highly recommended for the reduction of swelling and pain; similarly, heat can be used to increase blood flow and lessen any stiffness that may occur in your shoulder.
Additionally, there is the miracle of stretching! Often times there are a variety of exercises that you can get done on your own at home in order to relieve pain and increase the functionality of your shoulder.
Although most injuries should heal in a matter of weeks or a few months, some rotator cuff injuries require more serious intervention such as:
[ul][li]Physical Therapy[/li][li]Steroids[/li][li]Surgery[/li][/ul] Steroids often help with inflammation and soreness, while physical therapy has all the benefits of stretching with the added perk of having a professional trainer at your side to assist you in doing your exercises the right way in order to ensure a full and speedy recovery.
Surgery, while considered a serious step, is warranted in a rare few cases of rotator cuff injuries. Surgery is considered a last resort for most rotator cuff injuries and is primarily used on the youth who have acute injuries to their shoulders.
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