Updated: Jul 22, 2020
A rotator cuff injury can make everyday life miserable because this type of shoulder injury can have an impact on every aspect of your life. Activities of daily living such as brushing your hair or putting on a shirt can cause terrible shoulder pain.
Your rotator cuff is a group of muscles and tendons surrounding the bones of your shoulder, they help you raise and rotate your arms. Tendons are strong tissues that attach your muscles to your bones. Together, the muscles and tendons of your rotator cuff work to keep the top of your upper arm bone inside the shallow socket of your shoulder blade.
One of the most common rotator cuff injuries is tendinitis due to inflammation or irritation of a tendon. A partial tear of the tendon can occur over time through simple wear and tear. Over time these small tears then fray like a rope until a complete tear occurs and the tendon no longer holds the muscle to the bone, however, a fall or lifting something heavy can cause a tear with no previous symptoms.
Another common rotator cuff injury is called Bursitis and involves an inflammation of the bursae – small fluid filled sacs that protect from rubbing where bones connect at a joint. As you might expect in a much-used joint like a shoulder, there are quite a few bursae that can become inflamed and cause pain.
Symptoms of a Rotator Cuff Injury
Pain caused by a rotator cuff injury may be mild, but it can also be very severe. The most common symptoms include:
Pain in the shoulder often described as a dull ache
Disturbed sleep due to pain, especially when lying on the affected shoulder
Pain or difficulty with tasks that involve moving your arm above your head or behind your back
The likelihood of developing rotator cuff injury increases with age and there is evidence of a hereditary predisposition. Repetitive arm movements and playing certain sports such as tennis or working in a job that requires repetitive overhead arm movement also increase the chance of such an injury.
Diagnosis and Treatment
Your recovery starts with a thorough assessment with our specialist physiotherapist. A detailed chat about you and your lifestyle will be followed up with a hands-on examination to check your shoulder for deformities, assess the range of motion you have and test your arm strength.
Bespoke treatment and exercises will then be prescribed to reduce pain and increase mobility of the shoulder.
You don't have to live with pain. There is Hope! Book an appointment with our specialist musculoskeletal therapist today.