The rotator cuff is a group of four tendons that are attached to the muscles in your shoulder. This group of tendons is used whenever you move your shoulder, and it can become strained if you play certain kinds of sports; tennis or baseball or use repeated motion in your line of work; painting or washing windows. You may have sustained a rotator cuff tear if you are unable to raise your arm, feel weakness in your shoulder, or feel pain in your arm as you move it in certain directions.
Over time, your rotator cuff can become damaged, and it will eventually tear if it is exposed to enough strain. However, rotator cuff tears can also occur suddenly if you sustain an injury from a fall or heavy lifting. In some cases, rotator cuff tears can be treated by surgery.
Symptoms of a rotator cuff tear include pain with motion of the arm, difficulty lying on the injured shoulder, difficulty lifting or raising the arm and shoulder weakness. Popping or clicking in the shoulder with motion are often present with rotator cuff tears.
Your doctor will begin the diagnosis process by asking you about your injury. Then, they will perform a physical exam of your shoulder, and your doctor will also test the range of motion of your shoulder. To eliminate the possibility that other conditions have caused your shoulder injury, your doctor may also refer you for X-rays or an MRI scan.
In most cases, your body can heal rotator cuff tears on its own if you reduce inflammation in the area of the injury. Over-the-counter drugs like acetaminophen may be recommended, and it may also help to observe an anti-inflammatory diet or try natural anti-inflammatory remedies. While surgical repairs may be required in rare cases, rotator cuff injuries are also highly responsive to physical therapy treatments.
At Advance Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation we treat rotator cuff tears pre & post surgically. Our main goal is the provide pain relief, decrease inflammation, improve the mobility and strength of the shoulder. Treatment methods include ultrasound, electrical stimulation, massage, manual therapy, joint mobilization, stretching, strengthening exercises, activity modification training and a comprehensive home exercise program.