How to manage rotator cuff injury? Everything you need to know



The upper arm bone, or humerus, the shoulder blade, or scapula, and the collarbone, or clavicle make up the shoulder. It is a ball-and-socket joint in which the upper arm bone's ball, or head, fits into a shallow socket in the shoulder blade. Consider a golf ball on a golf tee.

The shoulder is supported by approximately 20 muscles, which allow it to turn, rotate, and move freely. The rotator cuff, a group of four muscles that act like tendons, is one of them. It keeps the humerus in the shoulder socket-centered. The rotator cuff muscles include the infraspinatus, teres minor, supraspinatus, and subscapularis.

Rotator cuff injuries are divided into two types based on the cause and type of tear. The injury could be acute or chronic, depending on the cause. It could be a partial tear or a full-thickness tear, depending on the type of tear. Overhead sports such as baseball, basketball, tennis, golf, and swimming are more likely to cause rotator cuff tears. Football, lacrosse, and ice hockey players can all suffer shoulder injuries that result in rotator cuff tears. Motor vehicle accidents, lifting heavy weights, workplace injuries, slip and falls, and other common personal injuries that result from rotational cuff tears.

Shoulder pain and tenderness, disturbed sleep, weakness in the shoulder and arm, difficulty reaching behind the back, difficulty lying on the affected shoulder, difficulty lifting or rotating your arm, snapping sensation in the upper arm, avoiding certain activities because they cause pain, difficulty achieving full range of shoulder motion, the crackling sensation when moving the shoulder inward

Apprehension test, Sulcus sign, Bear hug test, Neer's sign, Hawkins' test, Drop-arm test, Cross-arm test, Spurling's test, Jobe's test (empty can test), Apley scratch test, Hornblower's sign test, Yergason test, Speed's maneuver, and Clunk test are the diagnostic tests to identify rotator cuff injury.

The non-surgical treatments for rotator cuff injuries are as follows. It can be used alone or as part of a combined management strategy. In minor rotator cuff injuries, an arm sling and rest are used to prevent shoulder movement and help the rotator cuff heal. An injection of a local anesthetic and a cortisone preparation may help the patient manage rotator cuff pain, inflammation, and swelling. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen and naproxen are used to treat pain and swelling. Physical therapy may assist the patient in muscle strengthening, stretching, and rotator cuff injury exercises.

To avoid rotator cuff tears, the following precautions could be taken.

•            Have good posture;

•            Strengthen rotator cuff muscles using exercises

•            Stay away from repetitive activities with arms overhead;

•            Maintain a healthy weight; and

•            Never sleep on your side with your arm stretched overhead.

A rotator cuff injury causes inflammation and pain in the shoulder, making shoulder movement difficult. An individual's daily life can be hampered by rotator cuff injury.



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