Tearing Your Rotator Cuff
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Receive Treatment for a Rotator Cuff Tear from Florida-based Medical Professionals at Icon Medical
Your rotator cuff is located in the shoulder joint. It is a group of muscles and tendons that combine to surround and protect the shoulder joint. This cuff is responsible for maintaining the head of your upper arm bone and ensuring that it stays within the shoulder socket.
There are four muscles grouped together that form the rotator cuff in each shoulder, and these combine to make a tendon that covers the head of the humerus bone. It plays a vital part in helping your ability to lift, rotate, and move your arm in a fully functional manner.
There also exists a sac called a bursa, which lies between your rotator cuff and your shoulder bone. This sac acts as a lubricant to enable your rotator cuff to move freely and smoothly when your arm needs to move.
Through an injury to the rotator cuff, the bursa sac can also become damaged, which means inflammation and pain in the shoulder.
It is possible to injure the rotator cuff itself without injuring the shoulder socket or bone, such as you would expect with a dislocation. A rotator cuff injury or tear can be a standalone issue and injury.
Injury to the rotator cuff can vary in terms of long-term complications, medical attention required, and the extent of the injury, whether a one-time occurrence or a persistent complication. A rotator cuff injury often makes everyday tasks like getting dressed very difficult and painful.
Who Is At Risk of a Rotator Cuff Injury?
Any person can fall victim to a rotator cuff injury, but the likelihood of a rotator cuff injury occurring increases in those people who constantly move their arms and shoulders in overhead motions. This could be a requirement of their job, through a hobby or due to their lifestyle. Examples include professional tennis players, individuals who regularly play racket sports as a hobby, or those who need to stretch above their heads in their line of work such as painters and decorators, builders, carpenters or laborers.
The risk of falling victim to a rotator cuff injury also increases with age, therefore, older individuals who have to reach above their heads on a regular basis are significantly more at risk of this form of injury.
It is possible, however, to also be at risk of a rotator cuff injury based on your family history. A genetic weakness of the rotator cuff or a family history of issues relating to rotator cuff injuries can increase the likelihood of the next generation experiencing the same issues within a family line.
Signs and Symptoms of a Rotator Cuff Injury
If you are experiencing any of the following indications of a rotator cuff injury, you should seek medical assistance.
- A constant, dull ache in the shoulder region
- Difficulty sleeping or lying on the side in question due to pain and sensitivity
- You find reaching very difficult, even for simple tasks such as stretching up to your hair or reaching upwards to take something from the cupboard
- Reaching behind your back is particularly difficult
- Your arm feels weak
- A crackling sensation when you move the arm/shoulder in question
You may find that you are suddenly experiencing these symptoms, they may occur gradually, or they may be a direct result of a certain activity, sport or accident.
How Can a Rotator Cuff Injury Be Medically Treated?
You will need to be physically examined to diagnose a rotator cuff injury and to surmise the extent of the tear. Your assigned medical professional will examine your shoulder and check for any tenderness, issues or deformity. They will also test your movement and reaching abilities by asking you to move your arms and shoulders into specific positions. The strength of your arm will also be tested.
Medical consultants at Icon Medical centers will be able to examine you for rotator cuff tears and advise the best course of treatment, including aftercare and preventative methods such as certain exercises.
Daily strengthening exercises and certain stretches are highly recommended if you are either at risk of rotator cuff tears and injuries, or you have suffered from one in the past and wish to take preventative measures to avoid the same happening again.
These exercises should focus on the muscles of the chest, shoulders, upper arms and around the back of the shoulder and shoulder blades to create strong muscle balance and ability. These exercises can reduce the risk of rotator cuff injuries.
A qualified medical professional at Icon Medical can work with you to find the best exercises for your personal circumstances and find which work better for you.
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