Are you feeling pain or weakness in your shoulder when raising your arm? You may have shoulder impingement or a torn rotator cuff tendon. This common injury can occur suddenly during sports or other activities but is most often an overuse injury that occurs over time. Rotator cuff injuries impact more than two million Americans of all ages and genders each year, although adults over 40 are the most susceptible. Below, we explore rotator cuff tear treatment options and how to manage pain with targeted rotator cuff therapy exercises.
What is a rotator cuff tear? The rotor cuff is a group of muscles and tendons that hold the ball of the upper arm bone inside the shoulder blade socket. If you have a rotator cuff tear, one of the tendons in this group has partially or completely pulled away from the bone.
A physical therapist or athletic trainer can diagnose a rotator cuff tear or shoulder impingement by performing a series of special tests checking for shoulder tenderness, testing range of motion, and assessing arm strength. In some cases, an X-ray may be required to rule out arthritis or bone spurs that could be contributing to the problem, or an MRI may be ordered to confirm a torn tendon.
Although rotator cuff tears don’t heal on their own, many people are able to regain their mobility and reduce pain with specific physical therapy exercises. If conservative treatment options do not work, then sometimes a consult with an orthopedic surgeon is needed to discuss possible surgical options.
A physical therapist can assess your injury and provide you with personalized rotator cuff exercises that will build strength and reduce pain. You can also get started at home with these common rotator cuff exercises:
If you have questions about how to treat rotator cuff problems or reduce pain with these exercises, we’re happy to help! Contact an IMPACT Physical Therapy and Sports Recovery location in Illinois to learn more today.
Whether you choose non-surgical rotator cuff tear treatment or are looking for post-surgical rotator cuff tear therapy, we offer the highest level of care at our Chicagoland facilities. Find out what you can expect during your first visit with a licensed physical therapist at IMPACT Physical Therapy and Sports Recovery.