Tendons are connective tissues that surround your joints, and the rotator
cuff is a large tendon that connects four muscles at the top of your arm.
The rotator cuff helps your body lift and rotate your arm where it connects
to your shoulder joint. A damaged rotator cuff is a
common source of shoulder pain.
Causes of Rotator Cuff Injuries
There are two primary types of rotator cuff tears: acute and degenerative
injuries. Common causes of acute rotator cuff damage include falling on
an outstretched arm, sports injury, and lifting something that’s
too heavy. More frequent than acute tears, degenerative injuries result
from a wearing down of the tendon over time. Putting repetitive stress
on the shoulder, for example throwing a baseball or weightlifting, can
contribute to rotator cuff tears. Other factors that may cause degenerative
wear can include reduced blood supply due to age, which can reduce the
tendon’s ability to heal itself; and bone spurs, which can weaken
the tendon and make it more likely to tear.
Symptoms of Rotator Cuff Injuries
Individuals who have suffered a torn rotator cuff will typically experience
pain in their shoulder while at rest, especially if putting pressure on
the joint. Other symptoms can include pain and weakness when lifting the
arm, difficulty lowering or rotating the arm, and a crackling feeling
when moving the arm. Acute injuries are more likely to cause intense pain,
while degenerative tears typically cause mild pain early on, which increases
Treatments for Rotator Cuff Injuries
When left untreated, a torn rotator cuff can worsen with use. If you experience
sudden or chronic shoulder pain, you should see a doctor for examination.
Conservative treatments for rotator cuff injuries include rest, modified
activity, anti-inflammatory medication, and physical therapy. If these
treatments fail, steroid injections or surgery may be recommended.
The skilled surgeons at MK Orthopaedics treat a wide range of conditions
that affect the spine, shoulder, knee, hip, and more. If you’re
looking for an
orthopaedic doctor in Joliet to treat your hip pain or shoulder pain, call us today at (815) 741-6900.