Getting Active Again After a Rotator Cuff Tear

If you play tennis or golf every chance you get, you could develop shoulder pain from a torn rotator cuff. If you have a rotator cuff tear, the team of medical professionals at Ani Medical Group can help. They specialize in diagnosing and treating rotator cuff injuries. Their aim is to get you well so you can get back to the activities you love.

What is a rotator cuff?

Your rotator cuff is a group of tendons that give your shoulder stability and allow for movement. The rotator cuff tendons can tear from degeneration, injury, bone spurs, and repetitive stress. When your tendons tear or deteriorate, you can experience:

Left untreated, rotator cuff injuries can lead to permanent shoulder weakness or limited range of motion. And even though rest is important to your recovery, immobilization for too long can lead to what’s called a “frozen shoulder,” which is where the tissues thicken and tighten.

Who’s at risk for rotator cuff injuries?

Anyone who puts stress on their shoulders can suffer a rotator cuff injury. But there are special risk factors, and they include the following:

Age

The older you get, especially when you hit middle age, the more likely you are to sustain rotator cuff injuries.

Sports

Tennis, baseball, and archery require a lot of shoulder action, which can lead to rotator cuff injuries.

Construction jobs

Carpenters, painters, and other construction workers who perform repetitive arm motions for large portions of the day are at greater risk for tearing their rotator cuffs.

Genes

Rotator cuff injuries can run in families. This has led some experts to believe there’s a genetic component to this shoulder problem.

How to treat a torn rotator cuff

When you first tear your rotator cuff, follow the RICE treatment to reduce swelling and discomfort. RICE stands for:

When your pain and swelling subsides, it may be time to get active again to prevent developing a “frozen shoulder.”

Exercises for rotator cuff injuries

If you have a shoulder injury and the pain doesn’t go away in a few days, you should see a doctor before working out. If your doctor determines it’s a rotator cuff injury and it’s not too serious, they may prescribe exercises to help your shoulder heal and get stronger and prevent future injury.

Exercises may include simple things, such as reaching your arms straight out and holding the position for a certain amount of time. Exercises may also include doorway stretches. With doorway stretches, you stand in the middle of a doorway. With your arms bent at 90-degree angles, you place your palms on the walls on both sides of the doorway. Then you slowly step forward and feel the stretch in your shoulders and chest. After holding the position for 30 seconds, you step back and relax.

Your doctor may also prescribe physical therapy to help you regain strength and movement. Treatment may include various exercises, heat and ice therapy, and massage.

If you’ve torn your rotator cuff, or you just have shoulder pain or stiffness, Ani Medical Group can help. To learn more, book an appointment online or over the phone today.

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