Recently, we’ve been going through all the benefits that both physical therapists and chiropractors can have on your health and well being. From head to shoulders and knees to toes, a physical therapist is a good choice for pain treatment in any of these areas. One of the main reasons that you could be experiencing pain in your shoulders is due to a rotator cuff injury.
The rotator cuff is like a sleeve for the shoulder encasing it. It comprises a group of four muscles (for the curious, those muscles are the subscapularis, infraspinatus, teres minor, and supraspinatus). If you’re experiencing pain in this area, chances are high that the ligaments or tendons holding these four muscles together have been agitated or injured. If one or both of your shoulders hurt, you have a limited range of movement, and find normal activities difficult to do, there's a good chance you’ve experienced a rotator cuff injury.
Causes of rotator cuff injuries
Rotator cuff injuries are very common- every year they affect between two to four million people in the United States. Rotator cuff injuries could range from something as simple as tendonitis, a strain, or as serious as a partial or complete tear. These types of injuries can be very common for those of us who play sports with repetitive motions, like tennis or baseball. Other causes include but are not limited to:
Repetitive traumas (regular actions using the shoulder may cause weakness and even tears)
When the rotator cuff is involved with some pain and loss of movement, then early intervention can help before it worsens. It is never too late to reach out and contact a BC + PT therapist!
Rotator cuff injury treatment
There are generally a few methods to treating a rotator cuff injury. If your injury is severe and causing extreme pain, it’s wise to seek medical assistance right away from your physician or an urgent care doctor and follow their recommendations. If it’s not so urgent, a common first recommendation is to give the muscles and joints time to rest. If rest doesn’t help your rotator cuff injury, the next step is to get in touch with a physical therapist. A physical therapist can set up a plan of treatment with conservative care techniques that hopefully prevent expensive medical and surgical bills later down the line. Your physical therapist should set out a unique plan for you and your needs- here at BC + PT, our physical therapists provide 1:1 attention for each appointment which gives us a better understanding of your unique situation.
Physical therapy and rotator cuff injuries
If you choose to go the physical therapy route, or a medical professional recommends physical therapy rehab, your PT will be able to assess and treat some of the shoulder problems you may be facing. Even if you are deemed as a candidate for surgery for your rotator cuff injury, physical therapy can help both before surgery AND after your surgery!
To learn more about all the different modalities that the physical therapists can offer you here at BC + PT, we recommend taking a look through the physical therapy pages on our website. We do offer but are not limited to:
Heat and ice therapy
Ultrasound therapy helps reduce pain and inflammation
TENS (transcutaneous electrical stimulation) helps improve mobility
Various stretching exercises that help with range of movement, reducing pain and inflammation
And some massage therapy
Conservative physical therapy treatment can be a helpful solution in preventing unnecessary surgery, strengthening your body, and increasing your range of motion while limiting pain. If you think your rotator cuff has been injured in any way, take the steps to give us a call or fill out this form to get an initial appointment. The sooner you start your treatment, the greater your chances are of recovery. Stop Waiting, Start Healing!