Tendons and muscles that wrap around the head of the humerus bone and shoulder blade to stabilize the joint are known as the rotator cuff. By providing a range of motion, these tissues are responsible for arm comfortable arm movement. However, tears can limit the range of motion and cause a great deal of pain.
Repetitive shoulder blade motion and overuse are the most common causes of Rotator cuff tears. A trauma such as a dislocated shoulder can also lead to a rotator cuff tear.
Shoulder pain and weakness, difficulty raising or lowering the arm or trouble reaching for something behind you are all symptoms of a rotator cuff tear. Cracking or popping can also be a sign of damage to the rotator cuff.
Overuse injuries such as those occurring during activities such as tennis or swimming are typically treated with a more conservative approach. Rest, ice and anti-inflammatory medications will help limit the pain. Still experiencing pain? The Spine & Pain Center physicians may suggest a steroid injection to reduce inflammation which should last several months. Physical therapy may also be an option at this time or even a sling to promote proper healing. Should these treatments not be enough to alleviate the pain, an orthopedic surgeon may have to surgically repair their torn rotator cuff.