Treatments Available for Rotator Cuff Injuries

November 12, 2012

Treatments Available for Rotator Cuff Injuries

Any rotator cuff injury will destabilize the shoulder and result in restricted movement. The muscles which make up the rotator cuff are known as the teres minor and teres major, supraspinatus, and infraspinatus. These muscles also have their associated tendons to consider.

The shoulder joint is more susceptible to injury than many other joints in the body. Initially it is a ball and socket joint with a very wide range of movements. An arm can be moved pretty well in any direction, however it is the overhead and behind the head actions which can be most damaging. Sports injuries are very common, yet plain old wear and tear can also take its toll as can any repetitive action, such as a shop worker replenishing a high shelf may find themselves with a rotator cuff injury.

Whenever someone is carrying a rotator cuff injury normal everyday movements can become severely restricted or impossible. Any action lifting an arm above head height is very difficult to carry out. Things that we all take for granted begin to suffer, personal hygiene then becomes extremely difficult as does any general grooming that we all do daily. For example combing hair means raising an arm above the head.

In most cases of a rotator cuff injury physiotherapy can be successful, however some people will need surgery to repair the damage. The physio will carry out an initial assessment of the area, paying particular attention to the amount of movement possible, the strength of the muscles and the patient’s ability to do actions which are repeated everyday.

Common treatment consists of building up the muscles around the shoulder and carrying out stretching exercises at the same time. Resistant bands are very helpful in most cases and your physiotherapist will monitor progress.

If you are one of the unlucky ones who has a condition too severe for the physio or your condition has not responded to physiotherapy then surgery is probably required for your rotator cuff injury. Arthroscopic surgery on the shoulder is normally successful and any torn tendons can be re-affixed and inflamed tissue can be dealt with. However this type of surgery requires an intensive physiotherapy regime after the operation. This is because the full range of motions in the shoulder has to be regained and those who do not have the physiotherapy tend to do less well.

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