The shoulder is an important part of the body when it comes to movement. It helps you to do simple tasks such as combing your hair and also vigorous tasks such as doing sports. One of the parts of a shoulder that helps you move the arms over the head is the rotator cuff.
The rotator cuff is composed of muscles and tendons found on the shoulder joint. An injury such as rotator cuff tear is experienced by people over 40 years old due to age and use. This injury is common to those who do repetitive shoulder movements like carpenters, painters, and athletes.
Tears often happen to the side on which you are working most. When you have a tear on one side, it may increase the chances of having a tear on the other side as well. Sometimes, shoulder pains or other symptoms are not felt but undergoing some tests may indicate a tear.
Shoulder surgery may be recommended by a healthcare provider if it is a complete tear. A rotator cuff repair may also be done through surgical treatment if the pain is already a hindrance to your job. However, there are instances when surgery is not necessary, and home remedies and therapies can ease off the pain.
Learn more below about when you should and shouldn’t have rotator cuff surgery. Call Mid-County Physical Therapy today if you’ve had surgery and believe physical therapy can help you recover.
Symptoms of a Rotator Cuff Tear
Accidents may cause intense shoulder pain, which may indicate a tear. For mild pains, an over-the-counter pain reliever may help subside the pain. As the pain gets worse, it could already be an injury to the rotator cuff. Here are the symptoms that you may experience:
- Arm weakness
- Difficulty in lifting objects due to shoulder weakness
- Clicking sensations when moving the arms
- Dull pain in the upper shoulder joint
Surgical Treatments for Rotator Cuff Tears
Most surgeries are done through small incisions. It is an outpatient procedure, so the patient does not need to stay in the hospital for the whole duration of the recovery.
The surgery process is done by inserting an arthroscope into the shoulder. Through the arthroscope, images can be viewed to perform the procedure. Tiny instruments are then inserted into the incision to remove the bone spurs and repair the tendon.
After getting the surgery, the patient is typically required to immobilize for a few weeks, depending on their surgeon’s recommendation. Many patients will also begin physical therapy within one-to-four weeks.
When Not to Have a Surgery
Physical therapy treatment is also a good start to get your shoulders to function normally for a long time. Doctors may suggest proper exercises that are focused on rotator cuff repair. These therapy sessions can help restore the resistance of the shoulders.
Compared to getting surgery, making an appointment with a physical therapist has lesser cost and recovery time. Patients who undergo surgeries are required to go through postoperative-focused therapies alongside additional treatment after several months if necessary. This costs a lot of time for the patient to go back to his daily routine.
Frozen shoulder pain starts when the shoulders are used often. For pains that are not extreme, strengthening the shoulder muscles can be done to decrease the pain. Some medical professionals recommend doing home remedies such as resting or switching to low-impact activities. Putting a cold pack on the shoulder for 20 minutes will also ease the pain.
Aside from the home remedies, you may also consider using a brace or a bandage to support the shoulder movement.
If the home remedies did not work to lessen the pain, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) could be taken as pain relief. Also, a steroid injection is done by a doctor to treat the pain.
Call Mid-County Physical Therapy for an Appointment
Physical therapists not only help the patient but their families, as well. They educate family members regarding the injury and highlight the limited activities that can be done by the patient. They advise how the patients can become healthier and how to prevent the injury from occurring again.
Specialists from Mid-County Physical Therapy are professionals that are certified therapists who have been practicing for a long time. They are practicing different specializations such as musculoskeletal and neurological conditions, pediatric occupational therapy, and dry needling techniques.