Torn Rotator Cuff Treatment Hardly Ever Requires Surgery
A rotator cuff tear can come about for a number of different of reasons. For most of us it will probably be as a result of wear and tear as we get older. Although this is an injury that is most common...
A rotator cuff tear can come about for a number of different of reasons. For most of us it will probably be as a result of wear and tear as we get older. Although this is an injury that is most common in the over fifties, it can also be acquired through a knock or fall or even simply through a repetitive action such as throwing a ball . This is why it is sometimes called pitcher's shoulder.
Corrective surgery tends to be restricted to the unlucky few who either manage a complete rotator cuff tear or who do not respond to conservative treatment.
So what is the best type of torn rotator cuff treatment?
Firstly rest! You need to let the muscle heal properly and if you carry on using it, you will slow down the recovery process and may even end up causing a serious injury. Depending on which of the rotator cuff muscles you have damaged some of your shoulder movements will be painful. The usual symptoms for a Supraspinatus tear for example are pain when reaching for anything or when lifting your arm above shoulder height, difficulty reaching behing you and trouble sleeping because the shoulder is so tender. If you continue to do the same movements that you find painful you are going to further damage the muscle which could leave you with a full thickness muscle tear that will definitely need surgery.
After resting the muscle, you need to look after the inflammation and pain. This could be done with anti-inflammatory drugs such as Ibuprofen or with cortisone injections. Treating the inflammation will sometimes help with the pain because a lot of shoulder pain is caused by swollen tendons getting trapped by other muscles and bone. Ultra sound can also be used to help with the inflammation and can also prompt healing.
Once the injury has started to settle down and movement has become easier it is time to start exercising the rotator cuff muscles to build up their strength. These exercises will be small exercises with little or no resistance. These are small muscles that often suffer injury simply because we neglect them. The majority of us don't understand how important these muscles are until we suffer an injury, but they are fundamental to having a healthy shoulder, holding the arm into the socket as we move and lift.Just a small increase in the strength of the rotator cuff can have a dramatic affect on the overall strength of the shoulder.
Rotator cuff specific exercises are what is called for. If you start working out with weights this is likely to just work the major muscles of the shoulder and do nothing for the rotator cuff. Rotator cuff exercises will isolate these muscles waking them up, building their strength. You'll be surprised how quickly your shoulder joint will get better once you get these muscles working again.
But remember, rest and treat the inflammation before you start any rotator cuff exercises. If you need to modify how you work in order to rest your shoulder then do it. Working through a rotator cuff injury can only lead to further injury.
And finally. It is worth mentioning that self diagnosis of shoulder problems is not a good idea. Different injuries need different treatments and it's worth getting it right just to avoid further problems.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Rotator Cuff Specific Exercises are the quickest way back to a healthy shoulder. I know because it worked for me. Check out the torn rotator cuff treatment that stopped me needing surgery.
Read my story here