A rotator cuff injury (or torn rotator cuff) is a result of damage (tearing, overstretching or a rupture) to one or more of the four rotator cuff muscles in the shoulder. Rotator cuff injuries are common in sports or other activities that require throwing or similar motions e.g. racquet sports. The role of these muscles is to rotate the arm at the shoulder joint and to provide a supportive cuff around the joint.
In addition to throwing movements, rotator cuff injuries can be a result of activities that require extensive overhead lifting or other activity.
Typical symptoms of a torn rotator cuff are a sudden pain at the instant the injury occurs. This is sometimes accompanied by a tearing feeling. The pain will tend to worsen over time and be accompanied by a feeling of weakness at the shoulder. As a result of this weakness, the individual may be unable to raise the arm to shoulder level.
Treatment Of Rotator Cuff Injuries
Treatment of a torn rotator cuff usually involves resting the joint. To treat the pain, a doctor may also recommend that the patient apply ice or a cold compress to the painful area regularly.For additional pain control, the patient can use over the counter pain medications like aspirin.
In addition to the measures, taping the shoulder or using an orthopedic shoulder support can stabilize the joint and take pressure off it. This will give the the joint an opportunity to heal.
Kinesiology taping can also help to heal these types of injuries by allowing lymphatic fluids to flow freely through the injury site. This in turn facilitates the body’s natural healing functions.
Once the injury has healed, the patient can engage a physiotherapist to formulate an exercise program to strengthen the shoulder muscles. This will better equip them to handle the stresses that may have caused the injuries in the first place.