What is Rotator Cuff Tears?

Janice CarsonJanice Carson

One of the most common injuries in adults today is damage to the rotator cuff, and learning more about this issue will help prevent it and manage it.

Of all the various types of injuries suffered today, a rotator cuff tear is certainly one of the most common. More than 2 million people each year visit their physician with this condition, 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?

First, 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. This allows for a full range of movement to occur. The rotator cuff is a cluster of four different muscles that connect as tendons and keep your arm inside the socket. In short, it’s responsible for keeping the ball inside the socket and keeping your arm where it belongs. It also helps lift your arm and rotate it.

Basically, 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’s usually caused by issues like overuse, improper technique performing some action, stress, and injury. The most common cause is certainly overuse, mainly due to the fact that the shoulder is one of the most commonly used joints in the body on a daily basis. Regular wear and tear will gradually cause the tendons to fray, and small tears may not even be noticed until it’s too late. This is known as a degenerative tear, as opposed to an acute tear which occurs quickly as a result of a fall, lifting something too heavy, or other sudden injuries.

Those who are forty 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.

Simply put, 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.

 

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