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Physical Therapy for Rotator Cuff Tears and Shoulder Injuries

It might be the fact that you are struggling with painful shoulders. Do you have any idea that this issue might arise from damage to your rotator cuff? It is correct, your shoulder discomfort which is accompanied with certain movements or which you might observe while sleeping could be a result of serious rotator cuff damage.


What is the function of the rotator cuff?

Similar to most parts of our body, we do not pay any heed to the rotator cuff until we confront with some problem. Nevertheless, this issue can affect your shoulder’s discomfort to a great extent. As a matter of fact, your rotator cuff is being used multiple times every day for doing basic activities like lifting an object or throwing something. The rotator cuff consists of some muscles which surround the shoulder joint that is responsible for guiding the shoulder while it moves. Consequently, in case of any damage to the rotator cuff, one can suffer from a poor range of movements in his or her shoulders which can be accompanied by swelling and discomfort.


How is it possible for a rotator cuff to become injured or weakened?

On most occasions, one will be suffering from this condition because of moving the shoulder in a forceful or violent manner. The injury is quite typical particularly when a person becomes older. Nevertheless, anyone irrespective of his or her age can suffer from this condition because of various reasons. However, it is mostly observed in the case of older individuals.


How is it possible to diagnose the condition?

Your health history will be reviewed by a physical therapist that will perform a comprehensive examination which is specifically designed for identifying the cause behind the shoulder pain. Several specialized examinations will be performed by the physical therapist like Neer's impingement sign, Hawkins-Kennedy impingement test, and so on so as to diagnose any tear or impingement.


For example, the therapist might lift your arm, move the arm outwards, or even lift your arm while requesting you to resist pressure, and all of these will be performed at different angles of elevation. Although you might feel somewhat uncomfortable while undertaking these examinations, there is no reason to worry. All these are a part of the treatment process that will eventually help you to get out of trouble.


On some occasions, the outcomes after conducting these assessments might specify the requirement for a referral to an experienced orthopedist. You might also be needed to undergo some imaging tests like MRI (magnetic resonance imaging), CT (computed tomography), or ultrasound imaging.


How is it possible for physical therapy to help you?

Once the physical therapist has been able to diagnose a rotator cuff injury, he will work along with you to figure out whether you need to have surgery or it is possible to treat the condition without any surgical procedure whatsoever. In case you are not required to undergo surgery, the therapist will help you to restore your range of movement, coordination, as well as muscle strength so that you're able to come back to your normal activities once again. On some occasions, the therapist might teach you how to make any alteration in your physical activities such that less pressure is exerted on the shoulder. In case you opt for surgery, the therapist will assist you before the procedure as well as after it.


It does not matter which treatment you go for - only physical therapy or a combination of physical therapy and surgery - early detection and treatment is imperative so as to get the best results.

More information here

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