The rotator cuff is a grouping of tendons and muscles located in the shoulder. It connects the upper arm (humerus) to the shoulder blade (scapula), and the tendons stabilize the shoulder joint while the muscles allow it to rotate. Despite being one of the most mobile joints in the body, the shoulder is fairly weak and too much stress can damage the rotator cuff. Let’s take a look at some of the most common rotator cuff injuries and how they can be treated.
Common Rotator Cuff Injuries
Tears are the injury that most commonly affects the rotator cuff, often occurring due to overuse and general wear and tear. The most common symptom of a torn rotator cuff is a weakened arm and pain, depending on the severity of the tear. Other common issues that affect the rotator cuff include tendinitis, bursitis and frozen shoulder, all of which can be diagnosed through an MRI, ultrasound or a simple physical examination.
Treatments for Rotator Cuff Injuries
Depending on the severity of the injury, rotator cuff injuries can be treated in a variety of ways.
For patients with tendinitis, treatment can sometimes be as simple as resting the arm, using over-the-counter pain relievers (NSAIDs) and icing the injured area. Getting plenty of rest is also recommended during the recovery period.
Cortisone injections are another popular treatment option for rotator cuff injuries. This medication is injected directly into the shoulder, reducing inflammation and helping to relieve pain. Exercises centered around improving flexibility can also be done to help reduce pain and inflammation of the rotator cuff.
In extreme cases, your doctor may recommend surgery. In this procedure, your surgeon will reattach the rotator cuff tendon to the bone and fix any other issues that may be causing pain. Following surgery, your arm will be in a sling for as long as your doctor advises. Physical therapy may also be recommended to help build strength in your shoulder.
Are You Suffering From Shoulder or Rotator Cuff Pain?
Contact Dr. Mendoza today to learn more about rotator cuff injury treatments, shoulder pain and more. The doctor can be reached at 212-628-9600. Our office is located at 333 East 56th Street, New York, NY. We look forward to hearing from you.