Rotator Cuff Sprain and Strains
The rotator cuff is made up of four muscles (supraspinatus, infraspinatus, teres minor and subscapularis) and their tendons. It provide stability and strength for the shoulder, anchoring the humorous (upper arm bone) and scapula (shoulder blade) so that the movements of the shoulder are smooth and coordinated.
Shoulder pain can be caused by inflammation or injury to rotator cuff tendons due to trauma, poor posture, overuse, faulty mechanics or weak muscles. In most cases the injury is to the tendons of the muscles in form of a tear or strain.
A common symptom associated with chronic rotator cuff strains include achiness and pain after rising from bed after sleeping, as well as certain types of movements. If untreated, the condition will likely not get better
Treatment for mild to moderate rotator cuff strains due to an injury include:
- Rest: Stop performing the activities that aggravate it for a while.
For Pain and Inflammation: Use a bag of ice on the cuff for 20 to 25 minutes
Continue movement of the Shoulder: Movements that do not cause pain in order to prevent stiffness.
Stretch and Strengthen: the supporting muscles of the shoulder girdle.
Types of treatment in office include: Myofascial Trigger point therapy and Ultrasound to the tendons in question.
…Rotator Cuff tears are another issue. These are more severe conditions that may require surgery.
A rotator cuff tear can include a tear to one or more of the 4 tendons of the rotator cuff muscles in the shoulder.
Rotator cuff tears are classified in 3 ways: partial thickness tear, full thickness tear and a full thickness tear with a complete detachment of the tendon from the bone. Any pain associated with the tear does not always correspond with the actual size of the tear. Acute rotator cuff injury symptoms include severe pain that radiates throughout the arm, and limited range of motion. Symptoms associated with chronic rotator cuff tears include noticeable pain during rest, crackling sensation in the shoulder, and unable to move or lift the arm.
If surgery is required to repair the torn tendon, Physiotherapy can be used after surgery for rehabilitation following a rehabilitation protocol.
Physiotherapy treatment includes gentle, passive range of motion exercises, ice or heat, therapeutic ultrasound, and a strengthening program once full range of motion has been restored.