Rotator Cuff Injuries | Triggers and Treatments

By admin
June 4, 2013

For athletes, shoulder injuries can be a major concern.  Those who play baseball, tennis, swim, or something similar are all at risk for injuring their rotator cuff, a group of the four tendons and muscles in the shoulder.  The rotator cuff connects the shoulder blade to the upper arm bone, while also working to stabilize and move the shoulder joint.   However, the shoulder isn’t very strong, and can be quite prone to injury -- one of the most common being a rotator cuff tear.  Keep reading to find out what exactly causes these tears, and what the treatment options are.

Triggers

While rotator cuff injuries are commonly seen in athletes, they’re not the only ones who are susceptible.  They can be brought on by any constant, repetitive motion of the shoulder, affecting painters, carpenters, and more.  Rotator cuff injuries can also be caused by the body’s natural aging process, as the breakdown of collagen over time can leave the shoulder more vulnerable.  Additionally, patients who fall on their shoulder or engage in lifting or pulling heavy objects are at an increased risk for tearing.

If the rotator cuff is torn or strained, there are a number of symptoms that may begin to present themselves.  Most patients will experience tenderness or pain in the shoulder, which can be exacerbated by lifting, pulling, or any excess pressure or strain.  Many also report a feeling of weakness in the shoulder, and a decrease in their range of motion.

Treatments

In many cases, rotator cuff tears can be treated non-surgically, with doctors typically recommending rest, anti-inflammatory medication, physical therapy, and activity modification.  However,  if non-surgical methods prove ineffective or if the tear is too large, arthroscopic surgery is the next step in treatment.

Shoulder arthroscopy is a minimally-invasive procedure in which a few small incisions are made, rather than one larger one.  These incisions help the surgeon to see inside the joint, allowing them to accurately and precisely repair the tear.  Arthroscopy is an effective option that offers less scarring and minimal downtime, allowing patients to get back in the game much more quickly.

Sports Medicine in Napa and Vacaville

For more information about rotator cuff injuries, take the first step – contact us today and schedule a consultation.  You can reach our offices at 707.258.2547 for Napa, and 707.446.6206 for Vacaville.  We look forward to hearing from you.

Rotator Cuff

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