Rotator Cuff Treatment, Symptoms, and Diagnosis
When a patient is suffering from a rotator cuff tear, it can typically happen in two ways: either with one major trauma or repeated minor ones. In today’s post, we’ll talk about rotator cuff treatment, symptoms, diagnosis, and prevention.
Rotator Cuff 101
A rotator cuff is the four group of tendons and muscles surrounding the shoulder joint. These muscles mainly function to control, stabilize, and move the shoulder joints. When the rotator cuff muscles work separately or individually, they show rotational motion starting from the shoulder joint.
Because of the shoulders’ wide arch of motion, they are an essential part of our body – especially for doing any activities that require using our upper extremity.
When this part of the body gets injured, it’s really the tendons that are damaged. Those are what connect the muscles to the bone.
Rotator cuff tears can be a hugely frustrating incident. That’s why it’s essential to know proper rotator cuff treatment and rehabilitation, symptoms, and diagnosis.
Rotator Cuff Tear Symptoms
Rotator cuff tears may come in the form of a full or a partial tear. Patients suffering from this type of condition will notice an increase in shoulder pain. The weakness patients experience is also dependent on the severity of the damage.
Additionally, there is a significant reduction in shoulder function when patients are suffering from a rotator cuff tear.
A partial tear in the rotator cuff manifests itself through mild or minor shoulder pain. There is a clicking when a patient tries to reach upwards or behind their back. With a partial rotator cuff tear, there is also difficulty in lifting the hands above the shoulders.
On the other hand, a full tear in the rotator cuff will show itself with severe or severe pain in the shoulders. There’s also a complete inability to lift the elbows outwards or away from the body. Nevertheless, there are cases wherein the rotator cuff tear is severe that several pain fibers may also be ripped apart, which, ironically, is less painful but significantly weaker.
Even with a moderate tear, you’ll still need rotator cuff treatment. This is because you will again experience a level of pain that will grow as time goes on. You’ll have a complete inability to move your arms, which will hinder your day-to-day functions.
Many patients can’t sleep at all because of the severe pan. When a significant rotator cuff tears, patients may find themselves losing the ability to move their whole arm completely.
A common symptom of a rotator cuff tear is a weakness in the shoulder. This weakness results in problems lifting the arms up or other regular activities such as carrying or lifting objects, getting dressed, or reaching something.
Shoulder Pain Causes
Shoulder pain is a common condition for a lot of people. Since we are always using our arms for many different reasons, the causes of shoulder and arm pain can vary. To get the proper rotator cuff treatment, the root problem must first be identified.
Most people with shoulder pain may immediately regard it as a rotator cuff tear. However, there are several other causes of pain experienced in the shoulder area. Without a proper diagnosis and consultation from a doctor, you can’t know what the health issue is and how to address it.
Before starting a rotator cuff treatment or any type of treatment for that matter, you need to get in the root of the source of the pain.
During diagnosis, the doctor will determine the type of weakness you’re experiencing – whether it’s apparent or actual. Actual weakness is when the tendon is inflamed, or the muscles are damaged. On the other hand, apparent weakness takes place when the pain prevents you from doing an activity.
Rotator Cuff Treatment
To know the best course of rotator cuff treatment for your specific injury, it’s best to consult with your doctor. In general, these tears can be corrected without undergoing any surgery. If surgery is needed, only a small number of patients undergo it.
The types of treatment are:
- Physical therapy to treat the rotator cuff tear
- Cortisone injections
- Anti-inflammatory medication
These non-surgical rotator cuff treatment options should be tried, first and foremost. One of these, or a combination of any of these, should resolve the issue. If surgery is required, the doctor will be able to know following a proper diagnosis.