Rotator Cuff Injury Treatment
Do you feel pain when rotating your arm or completing any overhead activity? You may be suffering from shoulder injury and may require rotator cuff injury treatment.
What is Rotator Cuff Injury?
Your shoulder joint is very flexible and allows movement in many directions, which is your range of motion. The ball and socket of your shoulder joint is supported by 4 muscles. The ball is the upper part of your arm, and the socket is at the top of your shoulder blade. Tendons of these 4 muscles form a covering surrounding the ball part of your upper arm bone. This is your rotator cuff. Your pain can be as a result of damage or tearing of the tendons and muscles, or deformation of the bone structure.
Rotator Cuff Injury Treatment: The Basics
If your shoulder pain is not due to an accident or a fall, you may consider starting treatment at home. Hopefully, this will relieve your pain and begin the healing process immediately.
- Rest: As soon as you feel the pain, heed this signal and stop the activity that is causing your pain.
- Ice: Keep your shoulder cool with ice accomplishes two critical facets of treatment. It reduces the inflammation and stimulates blood flow in the area. Then in a couple of days later, you can treat the area with a heating pad to ease and relax muscle tension.
- Compression and Support: Since you do not want to put any more strain on your shoulder it is advisable to support your lower arm so that it does not pull on the shoulder joint.
- Elevation: It is advisable to keep the area elevated to reduce swelling.
- Medication: Over the counter pain medication and anti-inflammatories are effective in reducing your pain to allow you to start moving the area comfortably and reduce inflammation.
- Medicated Rubs: These rubs and ointments stimulate blood flow which will increase the rate of healing.
Rotator Cuff Injury Treatment: Medical Care
Your pain issue requires a thorough evaluation with a trained physician, who will give you a diagnosis and suggest treatment options to optimize your care. Your pain physician at the pain treatment clinic will first examine your shoulder, then move you’re your arm in different ways. To give you a more accurate understanding of your problem, the pain doctor may order imaging tests such as X-rays, Ultrasound or MRIs (magnetic resonance imaging). These tests will pinpoint whether your pain is restricted to soft tissue or has an underlying bone (structural) problem. Does your problem lie with the rotator cuff muscle? Do you have a complete tear? Is something amiss in your shoulder joint? Each problem demands different and specific solutions for you and your pain.
You should be prepared to answer the following type of questions.
- When did you first experience your pain?
- What type of motions intensify your pain?
- Is this your first injury to your shoulder?
- Do you have any other symptoms besides pain?
- Is your pain restricted to your shoulder area? Does it reach to below your elbow or into your neck area?
- Does a sport or work activity aggravate your pain?
Rotator Cuff Injury Treatment: Non-surgical Options
Once your doctor has a complete understanding of the problem, your pain doctor in New York or pain doctor in New Jersey will discuss options for your treatment. Often several approaches are used together to address your pain. If your problem is with muscles and tendons, then less invasive alternatives may relieve your pain. However, if the issue is a severe rotator cuff tear, you may need surgery.
- Physical Therapy: Soft tissue problems are often relieved through physical therapy. Your expert pain doctor will work with your therapist to target specific exercises to meet your needs. Your therapist will then help you develop an exercise program at home to continue the therapy on a daily basis. Your therapist may have lifestyle suggestions to reduce the likelihood of reinjury. You may need to wear a brace, use a different method for lifting heavy objects or otherwise modify your response to the activity that caused the issue in the first place.
- Prescription Medication: Your well-trained pain physician will be able to prescribe stronger pain and anti-inflammatory medications to alleviate your condition, if needed.
- Injections: Pain and anti-inflammatory injections can be applied to the site of your pain. This is a more targeted approach than oral medication.
There are many different types of surgery to address the underlying cause of your pain. Some methods are less invasive than others. Often physical therapy follows the surgical procedure once healing has taken place.
- Arthroscopic Surgery: Through small incisions near your shoulder blade, a camera and tiny surgical tools are inserted. Repair of small tears can be accomplished in this manner.
- Open Tendon Repair: In some cases, open tendon repair is more useful to reattach the tendon to the bone. While the incision is larger, the recovery time is close to arthroscopic surgery, but there may be more pain in the full recovery process.
- Tendon Transfer: Often when the original tendon has been badly damaged then your surgeon will select a nearby healthy tendon to replace the damaged one.
- Shoulder Replacement: When damage of the rotator cuff is significant, your surgeon may suggest a complete replacement. The socket part of the joint is attached to the shoulder blade while the ball part is connected to the arm bone.
- Rotator cuff injury treatment should begin as soon as you feel pain or discomfort. Home remedies can be very effective.
- If your pain is due to an accident or fall, you need to seek medical help from a pain doctor in NY or pain doctor in NJ to determine if the pain is due to soft tissue damage or something more serious.
- At the pain treatment clinic, the least invasive options for your shoulder pain will be discussed first to alleviate your pain. Often several solutions are combined for effective relief of your pain.
- Surgery is also an option, but once again the least invasive treatments are considered first to help treat your shoulder pain.