Archive for the ‘Rotator Cuff’ Category

Rotator cuff injuries

What is the rotator cuff?

A rotator cuff is a group of muscles and tendons that surround the shoulder joint.  The rotator cuff keeps the head of your arm bone (the humerus) firmly within the shoulder socket and allows you to raise and rotate your arm.

 

rotator-cuff-diagram

Common injuries

Injuries to the rotator cuff are common and can range from mild inflammation (tendinitis) to a complete tear in the tendon.  Pain may present in the shoulder as a dull ache and it may be difficult to move your arm up over your head and/or behind you.

The incidence of rotator cuff injuries does tend to increase with age due to normal wear and tear on the rotator cuff tendon and usually present as a tear in the tendon.

 

Injuries in younger people

Rotator cuff injuries can also occur at a younger age in professions that require repeated overhead movements such as painters and carpenters and in sports activities such as baseball and swimming.

Rotator cuff injuries can also present after a fall on the shoulder.

 

Types of rotator cuff tears

Tears can be either partial where there is one of the rotator cuff muscles tendon is frayed or damaged – or a complete tear where the tear goes all the way through the tendon.

rotator cuff tears

Recovering from a rotator cuff injury

The good news is that most people with an injury to the rotator cuff can manage their symptoms and make a full recovery with physiotherapy. Treatment depends on the type of injury but includes,

  • soft tissue therapy to release tight musculature,
  • exercise management to build up strength in the rotator cuff and other shoulder stabilisers and
  • avoiding overhead movements until the tendon heals.

Physiotherapy treatment may also include taping or a specific shoulder brace to unload the tendon.

 

Occasionally surgery may be required

If there is a substantial injury to the rotator cuff, surgery may be required.  If this is the case physiotherapy can also help with both your pre-operative and post-operative rehabilitation.

 

Do you need help with shoulder pain?

If so, contact us on (02)  4454 4588.

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