A rotator cuff injury is a common injury, which often results from falls, work-related accidents, or overuse.
Your rotator cuff is made up of the tendons and muscles in your shoulder, which connect the shoulder blade to the humerus (the upper arm bone). The rotator cuff’s structure gives the shoulder the greatest range of motion of any other joint in the body.
Rotator Cuff Injury Symptoms
- Pain: Usually the most common rotator cuff symptom is pain, which often gets worse when a person reaches overhead, performs daily activities such as hair brushing or putting on clothes, or carries a heavy object. Pain may also increase with sleep or when lying down on the injured shoulder. If your injury is particularly severe, you may suffer continuous pain and muscle soreness.
- Weakness in the shoulder on the affected side
- Loss of shoulder range of motion
- Inclination to want to keep your shoulder immobilized
Rotator cuff injury symptoms may develop after a traumatic injury, such as a fall or other accident or may develop gradually with repetitive stress on the rotator cuff. People whose jobs or hobbies require extensive lifting, such as construction workers, painters, carpenters, and athletes, are more prone to developing a rotator cuff injury. Older people are also at greater risk for a rotator cuff injury.
Other contributing factors and/or causes of a rotator cuff injury can include normal wear and tear, poor posture, and bursitis.
Rotator Cuff Injury Treatment
If you experience severe shoulder pain or are unable to move your arm, it is important to seek immediate medical attention. If your shoulder pain lasts for over one week, it is also wise to contact your doctor. If you suspect that you have a rotator cuff injury, you may wish to seek medical advice on treatment.
If your injury appears severe, your doctor will probably take you through a number of diagnostic tests to determine the extent of your injury. These tests can include:
- Physical examination
- MRI scan
Home Care for a Rotator Cuff Injury
If you have suffered a minor shoulder rotator cuff injury, you may be able to heal without medical intervention by following a proper home care regiment. These home care strategies can include:
- Rest: Try to avoid all movements that cause pain, including the original cause of your injury. Limit overhead activity or heavy lifting for at least one week or longer if your shoulder does not yet feel better.
- Apply ice, then heat: For the first couple days following a rotator cuff injury, it may be advisable for you to use ice applications to reduce the pain and inflammation. A frozen bag of vegetables or an ice pack should be applied to the shoulder area for 15 to 20 minute intervals several times throughout the day.After a few days, when the pain and swelling have gone down, hot packs or a heating pad may help to relax sore or tight muscles. These applications should also be used in 20-minute intervals as needed.
- Pain medications: Over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as naproxen, ibuprofen, or aspirin may be recommended by your doctor to treat your pain.
- Stay somewhat active: While it is wise to avoid aggravating movements following a rotator cuff injury, it is recommended to perform some gentle movements after a few days. Favoring your healthy shoulder too much can lead to stiff joints or total immobility (called frozen shoulder) in your affected shoulder. Your doctor can recommend some rotator cuff injury exercises do to while you are healing.
Medical treatment for Rotator Cuff Injuries
Your doctor may advise you to seek physical therapy in the weeks following a rotator cuff injury. Rotator cuff injury physical therapy is designed to heal your injury, improve rotator cuff range of motion, increase muscle flexibility, and facilitate balanced shoulder muscle strengthening. To relieve the pain and inflammation, your doctor may give you steroid injections as a short-term rotator cuff injury treatment. In more serious cases, where a patient has a tear in her/his rotator cuff, surgery may be required.
Rotator Cuff Injury Compensation
If you have suffered a rotator cuff injury on the job or due to another party’s wrong or negligence, please contact us to learn more about your legal rights and options. Our qualified attorneys at The Oshman Firm can evaluate your claim to determine liability and help you seek compensation for your losses and suffering. We offer a free consultation so that you can learn more with no obligation.
Contact us today at 1-800-400-8182, or contact us online for a free case evaluation. Our firm utilizes the contingency fee system, where we not only provide free consultations, but never charge a fee unless we are successful in obtaining a settlement or jury verdict on your behalf.