A rotator cuff injury refers to any damage to the group of muscles and tendons that stabilize the shoulder joint. This injury can cause a dull ache in the shoulder, which often worsens when you try to sleep on the affected side. Rotator cuff injuries are most common in people who repeatedly perform overhead motions in their jobs or sports.
At Alliance Orthopedics, we understand the pain and limitations a rotator cuff injury can impose. Our dedicated team is here to provide comprehensive care, helping patients recover and return to their regular activities as quickly as possible.
Causes of Rotator Cuff Injuries
Rotator cuff injuries can arise from either acute trauma or gradual degeneration:
Acute trauma: This might happen from a single incident, such as lifting a heavy object abruptly or falling on an outstretched hand.
Degeneration: More commonly, rotator cuff injuries occur over time due to the wear and tear of the tendon. This degeneration naturally happens as we age. Repetitive overhead motion, as seen in sports like tennis or jobs like painting, can accelerate this degeneration.
Certain factors can increase the likelihood of experiencing a rotator cuff injury:
Age: As one gets older, the risk of a rotator cuff injury increases.
Certain sports: Athletes, especially baseball pitchers, tennis players, and archers, are at a greater risk.
Construction jobs: Occupations like painting or carpentry, which involve repetitive arm motions, can overtax the rotator cuff.
Family history: There might be a genetic component involved if your family has a history of rotator cuff injuries.
Symptoms of a Rotator Cuff Injury
The symptoms associated with a rotator cuff injury can vary but often include:
Pain at rest and at night, especially when lying on the affected shoulder
Pain when lifting or lowering the arm
Weakness in the shoulder
A crackling sensation when moving the shoulder in certain positions
Diagnosing a Rotator Cuff Injury
At Alliance Orthopedics, our approach to diagnosing a rotator cuff injury is thorough and patient-centric. We start by discussing your symptoms and examining your shoulder. Our specialists will check for any weakness and assess the range of motion and pain points.
To get a detailed view of the injury, we may recommend imaging tests such as X-rays, ultrasounds, or MRIs.
The treatment for a rotator cuff injury is tailored to the severity of the injury and the patient’s individual needs. Options include:
Physical or occupational therapy: Strengthening exercises and stretches can restore flexibility and strength to the shoulder.
Steroid injections: These can provide temporary relief from pain.
Surgery: In cases of severe tears or if conservative treatments fail to improve symptoms, surgical intervention might be necessary.
At Alliance Orthopedics, our commitment is to provide world-class care for your rotator cuff injury. We aim to guide you through the recovery process, ensuring you regain strength and mobility in your shoulder.