Shoulder / Rotator Cuff Muscle Tear or Injury

A rotator cuff muscle injury refers to damage or strain to the group of muscles and tendons that surround the shoulder joint. These muscles and tendons are responsible for stabilizing and controlling the movement of the shoulder joint. The rotator cuff is composed of four muscles:

  • Supraspinatus
  • Infraspinatus
  • Teres minor
  • Subscapularis

Rotator cuff injuries can occur due to various reasons, including:

  • Trauma: A sudden fall, blow, or impact can damage the rotator cuff muscles and tendons.
  • Repetitive Overuse: Activities that involve repetitive overhead arm motions, such as throwing, swimming, or lifting heavy objects, can lead to overuse injuries in the rotator cuff.
  • Age-Related Changes: As people age, the tendons of the rotator cuff can degenerate and become more susceptible to injury.
  • Poor Posture: Poor posture can contribute to rotator cuff problems, as it can lead to abnormal shoulder mechanics and strain on these muscles.

Common symptoms of a rotator cuff injury include:

  • Pain in the shoulder, particularly when lifting or using the arm.
  • Weakness in the affected shoulder.
  • Limited range of motion in the shoulder joint.
  • A popping or cracking sensation in the shoulder.
  • Difficulty sleeping on the affected side due to pain.

Treatment for a rotator cuff injury can vary depending on the severity of the injury and the individual's overall health. Treatment options may include:

  • Rest and Activity Modification: Initially, resting the affected shoulder and avoiding activities that worsen the pain can help with healing.
  • Physical Therapy: Our physical therapist can help improve strength and flexibility in the shoulder through exercises and stretches.
  • Medications: Over-the-counter pain relievers or prescription medications might be recommended by us to manage pain and inflammation.
  • Corticosteroid Injections: Very rarely performed in our centre for muscle tears now. In some very rare instances, we might recommend corticosteroid injections to reduce inflammation and pain.
  • Surgery: Severe rotator cuff injuries may require surgical repair. This may involve reattaching the torn tendons or removing damaged tissue.

It's important to consult us or another healthcare professional if you suspect a rotator cuff injury, as early diagnosis and appropriate treatment can help prevent further damage and improve long-term outcomes. We can provide a thorough evaluation, recommend imaging studies like MRI or ultrasound, and guide you on the best course of action for your specific situation.

Stay Connected With Us