Most rotator cuff tears don’t require surgery to heal. This is because most people with rotor cuff tears don’t have any problem with their shoulders. Even if the torn rotator cuff causes shoulder pain, you can get relief without surgical treatment. Here are some facts you need to know about rotator cuff tears and how to get treatment through physical therapy.
What Is a Rotator Cuff?
A rotator cuff is a group of four muscles and tendons which surround your ball and socket joint in your shoulder. Your rotator cuff enhances the stability of your shoulder and makes it easy for you to raise your arm or twist it.
Rotator cuff problems occur in the form of inflammation, tendonitis, or partial or full tendon tears. The first symptom of any rotator cuff problem is a pain in the shoulder. The symptoms are limited to joint movement and muscle weakness.
When you visit your doctor, you’ll be examined using imaging tests like MRI, X-ray and ultrasound. The images will reveal the amount of damage in the rotator cuff.
What Causes Rotator Cuff Tears?
As you grow older, there’s a tendency to tear your rotator cuff. This happens as part of the aging process. Just as your skin wrinkles and your hair turns gray, the likelihood of having a rotator cuff tear increases as you grow older.
It’s also more likely to occur in the dominant arm, or an arm that has had some form of trauma in the shoulder. While there are various reasons why people develop this condition, aging seems to be the principal reason for it.
Should I Have Rotator Cuff Surgery?
The treatment recommended for a rotator cuff tear depends on the kind of injury and the patient’s age. Many tears occur in people who don’t feel the painful symptoms usually associated with a tear.
In such cases, is rotator cuff surgery worth it? Well, the answer is “no.” There’s no need to do surgery to repair the torn rotator cuff.
Effective non-surgical treatments include:
- Steroid injections
- Anti-inflammatory medication
- Physical therapy
The main aim of these treatment plans is to reduce pain and increase strength in the shoulder muscles.
When Should I See a Doctor for a Torn Rotator Cuff?
If you have a shoulder injury or you’re feeling severe shoulder and arm pain, it’s best to see your orthopedic surgeon. Your doctor will do a thorough diagnosis before helping you choose a treatment plan. You may also be required to go in for a diagnostic imaging test, such as an ultrasound or MRI, to confirm a diagnosis.
Visiting the doctor for early diagnosis and treatment is very important. It helps you prevent severe weakness and loss of motion in the affected shoulder.
Do You Need Effective Non-Surgical Treatment for a Rotator Cuff Pain?
If you’ve been experiencing pain in your shoulder and you want to enjoy the benefits of effective and compassionate physical therapy, give us a call today. We’ll perform a thorough examination on your shoulder and our physical therapist will help you enjoy fast pain relief while increasing your muscle strength and range of motion.