The rotator cuffs a set of four muscles/tendons in the shoulder. The four tendons are - the infraspinatus, the subscapularis, the teres minor, and the supraspinatus. Together these four stabilize our shoulder joints, helping us perform various arm movements. Mainly, it helps us lift and move our arms away from our bodies. The rotator cuff essentially connects the shoulder blade socket with the numerus (the ball of the upper arm bone). Together, they form the ball-and-socket joint that we call the shoulder.
This part of the skeletal system is prone to injuries. In fact, the rotator cuff is constantly prone to degeneration, inflammation, and trauma. That’s why rotator cuff injury is one of the most common sources of shoulder pain. When the four tendons tug away from the arm bone, they tear. These tears can only be confirmed by radiology testing. Treatment varies from individual to individual and depends on how severely damaged the four tendons of the rotator cuff are.
This condition can be caused by repetitive strains or acute injuries. There are two types of tears - incomplete or partial tears and full-thickness or complete tears. With partial tears, the tendons stay somewhat attached to the arm bone. Such patients can experience some mobility and motor functions. But, with complete tears, the tendons rip apart completely from the shoulder bone. Such patients require immediate physiotherapeutic attention.
The rotator cuffs a set of four muscles/tendons in the shoulder. The four tendons are - the infraspinatus, the subscapularis, the teres minor, and the supraspinatus. Together these four stabilize our shoulder joints, helping us perform various arm movements.
There are no symptoms of sudden tears. Accidents involving the shoulder cause rips to the tendons almost immediately. With degenerative tears, patients experience mild pain that intensifies over time. Pain relievers don’t help, and patients suffer from shoulder weakness all the time. Some other common symptoms of rotator cuff tears include:
Severe accidents, such as sports injuries or falls, can cause tears to the rotator cuff. However, the more common cause of these injuries is degeneration. As the tendon wears down over time with age and repeated use, it experiences degenerative tears. That’s why people over 35 are at high risk of experiencing such injuries.
Patients must see a licensed physiotherapist or a healthcare provider if they experience these symptoms:
A top physiotherapist should be able to -
The risk of picking up this injury/condition increases a lot when you participate in activities that involve sudden, strenuous movements of the shoulder. For example, if you’re taking heavy luggage off of racks after months of physical inactivity, you can damage your rotator cuff. Here are the key risk factors and complication risks –
The easiest way to avoid suffering from this injury/condition is always keeping your muscles/tendons flexible via stretching and strengthening exercises. You can cure rotator cuff tears with nonsurgical treatments. You can also prevent picking up such injuries by leading a healthy and calculated life.
Treatments vary depending on the patient’s history of physical activities and the types of symptoms they experience in their shoulders.
This condition qualifies as a tendon injury. To be specific, a rotator cuff injury is technically “tendinosis.” In tendinosis, overuse causes tiny tears in the tissues in and around the tendons. Similar conditions include - frozen shoulder, Achilles tendinitis, and Osteoarthritis.