Rotator Cuff Injuries


Definition:

  • An injury to one or more of the four muscles in the shoulder

  • Four muscles of the rotator cuff:

  • Supraspinatus

  • Infraspinatus

  • Teres Minor

  • Subscapularis

  • The type of injury can range from inflammation to a complete tear of the muscle

How:

  • Sudden or gradual injury to the muscle.

  • Poor biomechanics of the shoulder joint

Symptoms:

  • Pain at rest and at night, worse when lying on the affected shoulder.

  • Pain when lifting and lowering your arm.

  • Weakness when lifting or rotating your arm.

  • Popping and clicking when moving your shoulder in certain positions.

Causes:

  • Grade 1 tear - acute

  • Overuse activity such as overhead sports

  • No prior history of injury

  • Grade 2 tear – tendonitis/tendonopathy

  • Degeneration and wear of the tendons

  • Repetitive trauma to the tendons and bursa

  • Long standing history of grade 1 injury leading to thickening of the tendons

  • Grade 3

  • Complete thickness tear of the rotator cuff tendon

  • Severe muscle weakness

Treatment:

  • Ice massage – 3-5 minutes with an ice cup

  • Retraining the biomechanics of the shoulder

  • Surgery may be deemed necessary with severe tears to the rotator cuff


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