Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Are You Suffering From A Shoulder Injury? Ten Things You Should Know About A Rotator Cuff Tea

A Rotator cuff tear is a very common shoulder injury. In fact, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS), nearly 2 million people in the United States visit doctors each year due to pain in the rotator cuff. Many seek out treatment from board certified orthopaedic surgeons since they are specifically trained to diagnose and treat a wide variety of shoulder injuries.
Rotator cuff tears involve a tear or a partial tear on one of the tendons that make up the four rotator cuff muscles (infraspinatus, subscapularis, supraspinatus, teres minor). While some people do not experience discomfort, others find them very painful. Additionally, they can sometimes limit range of motion and cause weakness during lifting or rotation of the arm. This can make every day activities like carrying or reaching for things, brushing your hair, or even getting dressed, difficult.
Rotator cuff tears are caused by a variety of things including normal age-related degeneration. Accidents or sports injuries can also cause them, as can arm activities, particularly those that are repetitive and above the head, like pitching a baseball, swimming or painting. Pulling or lifting on something too heavy is also a risk factor.
For those interested in injury prevention, strength-building exercises that help to maintain flexibility in the shoulders are recommended. Improving posture is beneficial and it is important to strengthen the muscles in the front and back of the shoulder, and by the shoulder blades. There are a variety of special shoulder stretches that can be particularly helpful in preventing them, especially if done on a regular basis.
If you are interested in finding out more about this common shoulder injury, here are ten things you should know.
  1. Rotator cuffs tear more easily as we get older.

  2. Once torn it does not typically heal on its own.

  3. When cuff tears become over 3 to 4 centimeters in length, even after they are surgically repaired, they have a very high re-rupture rate.

  4. Chronic tears can result in a special type of arthritis in the shoulder called rotator cuff tear arthropathy.

  5. They can be repaired by orthopaedic surgeons arthroscopically.

  6. Smaller tears heal better after surgery.

  7. After age 70 most rotator cuff tears are present in approximately half of the population and they are asymptomatic, that is patients do not know they even have one. Most 70 plus year old patients that have them do well without having surgery.

  8. A cortisone injection can help stop pain and improve range of motion in patients over age 70 with rotator cuff tears.

  9. Most younger patients under 60 years of age will experience symptoms if they have one.

  10. Smoking can significantly reduce the rate of healing of a rotator cuff tear after surgery.
Rotator cuff tears are common, especially over the life course. Learning about prevention, along with the symptoms, causes, treatment options, and recommended rehabilitation associated with them is helpful so that you have all of the information you need in case you experience this common injury.
Shoulder pain is extremely common and can have a lot of different causes. If you think you might currently have a rotator cuff tear, it is always advisable to seek out the advice of a trained medical professional. Board certified orthopaedic surgeons are often skilled at diagnosing and treating a wide range of injuries affecting the structures of the musculoskeletal system including shoulder injuries.

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