Rotator cuff injuries.
The shoulder is a ball and socket joint with the head of the arm held into the socket of the shoulder. It is a relatively unstable joint and is not deep like the hip joint. The shoulder therefore requires the rotator cuff muscle, a group of 4 muscles which helps to support the shoulder
Anatomy of the rotator cuff muscles.
There are 4 rotator cuff muscles, the supraspinatus, infraspinatus and teres minor running at the back of the shoulders and the supscapularis muscle running at the front of the shoulder blade. The supraspinatus is responsible for lifting up the arms forward and out to the side in the first 30 degrees range of motion whilst at the same time the supraspinatus and infraspinatus is responsible for rotating the arms outward. The subscapularis located underneath the visible chest muscle (your pecs) is responsible for rotating the arms inwards.
How does the rotator cuff muscle tear?
The rotator cuff muscles is prone to repetitive strain and over time can become damaged and tear. As a result the muscles tear pain and weakness of the shoulder can follow. The severity of the tear depends on the location and the grade of the tear.
Difficulty lifting arms out to the side
Difficulty rotating arms outwards
Reduced muscle power
Feeling of instability in the shoulder
Pain around the shoulder
Difficulty lifting objects or carrying bags
Age- As we age the strength of our rotator cuff muscles become weaker and more likely to become injured.
Occupation- Jobs and activities involving repetitive movement of the shoulders
Injuries during sports- injuries which involves overhead throwing is more prone to rotator cuff injuries.
Rotator cuff injuries can take anywhere up to 6 months to full repair. This may be longer or shorter depending on the degree of a tear and how well a person can heal
Physiotherapy-At Physiofriend we can help a person to regain strength and functional use of the arm. We also provide rehabilitation to help athletes return safely back to sports.
NSAIDs (Non Sterioidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs)- NSAIDs such as ibuprofen can be used to reduce the inflammation.
Corticosteriod injections- These are injected into the area of pain and can help to reduce back pain.