Rotator cuff tear refers to an injury of the muscles or tendons in the shoulder joint, which form the rotator cuff muscle group. Studies have shown this form of injury is one of the most prevalent musculoskeletal disorders, affecting millions of individual across the globe.
What the Symptoms Look Like
The first sign that you’ve sustained a tear in your rotator cuff muscles is a sharp pain in the shoulder. This may worsen if you perform an activity requiring overhead motions, or if you lie on the affected site while asleep. Consequently, it may also result in disturbed sleep due to the pain and discomfort caused.
Additionally, you may experience weakness in your arm, even during slight movements such as lifting it, or when it’s in a stationary position. There may also be a crackling sound heard when you move your arm.
Causes of Rotator Cuff Tears: Who May Be At Risk?
Rotator cuff tears are commonly a result of wear and tear of the shoulder muscles and tendons. Individuals who repeatedly overuse these muscles or perform overhead motion are most likely to experience this condition. It may also occur if the rotator cuff sustains an injury due to an accident or a fall.
Apart from this, the chances of sustaining a rotator cuff tear increase with:
Age: The older you get, the more vulnerable your tendons are to getting injured.
Sports: Individuals who are actively involved in sports that require repetitive arm motions such as tennis, swimming, and baseball, have a greater chance of sustaining a tear.
Occupation: If your job requires you to engage in repetitive arm movements such as overhead lifting, you’re at a greater risk of sustaining a muscle tear.
Treating Rotator Cuff Tears
There are several forms of treatment that have proven to be effective for rotator cuff tears, depending on the severity of the condition. These include:
Resting your arm and shoulder: As simple as it may sound, giving your arm the rest it so direly needs can do wonders! Of course, this needs to be paired with another form of treatment, but by limiting your arm movement you can accelerate the healing process and prevent the symptoms from worsening. Using ice or heatalso helps in relieving the swelling and pain.
Prescription medicines: Your doctor may prescribe medication for the torn muscles, which can alleviate the pain and swelling.
Physical therapy: Under the supervision of a trained physiotherapist, you can improve the flexibility and movement of your shoulder and arm, regaining your range of motion.
Surgery: Some doctors may recommend surgery if the aforementioned treatments don’t work. However, this is a risky option and may have complications as well as a long recovery period.
Injection therapy: A safer alternative for a severe case of rotator cuff tear is injection therapy. Through stem cell injections, not only is the healing process sped up, but also comes with minimum downtime and fewer (if any) risks.
The skilled staff at our centre for regenerative therapy in Toronto uses autologous injections to treat a range of musculoskeletal conditions. Get in touch with the team at RegenerVate Medical Injection Therapy now!