One of the most common injuries in adults today is damage to the rotator cuff, and it’s important to learn more about it so that you can prevent it as well as learn how to manage it if it occurs to you.
What is Rotator Cuff Tears?
You’ll need to understand just what the rotator cuff is. Basically, your shoulder is what is known as a ball and socket joint. Your upper arm bone contains a ball that fits into a socket inside the shoulder blade. The rotator cuff is a cluster of four different muscles that connect as tendons and keep your arm inside the socket. It’s responsible for keeping the ball inside the socket. It also helps lift your arm and rotate it.
A rotator cuff tear occurs when one of the tendons no longer attaches fully to the humorous bone. This can result in pain, swelling, and drastically reduced mobility. Usually, muscles aren’t what are damaged but instead the tendons suffer the damage.
It is caused by issues like overuse, improper technique performing some action, stress, and injury. Most common caused by overuse. Regular wear and tear will gradually cause the tendons to fray, known as a degenerative tear which occurs as a result of sudden injuries.
Those who are 40 and above are far more likely to develop this type of injury, and it’s also more common among those who do overhead activities or repetitive lifters. Painters, carpenters, and mechanics are among those most likely to develop the issue, along with pitchers or tennis players.
Symptoms of Rotator Cuff Tears
Knowing the signs is a good idea. The symptoms are similar and worth looking at so you can identify whether or not you may be suffering from the issue.
Acute tears are those caused by sudden trauma like falling on the arm or raising it against resistance forcefully. Symptoms of these acute tears include:
- Severe pain throughout the arm
- Limited range of motion
This is the more common type of tear. It’s caused by gradual wearing down of the ligaments and tendons throughout regular use. They’re much more common among those who engage in overhead activities including mechanic work, swimming, pitching, painting, and more. Symptoms of this issue include:
- Pain that is sporadic in nature
- Atrophy of muscles
- Significant pain during rest
- Pain that gradually worsens over time
- Cracking sensations during movement of the arm
- Inability to lift the arm completely
- Aches and pains over the front of the shoulder
- Pain at night when lying on the shoulder
- Pain when reaching forward
Symptoms are actually early warning signs that the issue may be occurring. It’s usually possible to identify the issue early and start trying to prevent it from occurring.
Taking care of your body the right way will help reduce the chances of developing the issue. A number of options exist for maintaining your shoulder and for helping it heal, but learning more about the condition is the first step.