The rotator cuff comprises of four muscles that aid in moving and stabilizing the shoulder joint. Any damage to one or all four of the muscles and the ligaments that connect these muscles to bone due to an injury, aging or chronic overuse; results in disability or severe pain.
This also restricts the range of motion of the shoulder joint. The damage can range from microscopic to huge tears. The injury is characterized by a series of painful symptoms that are often confused with signs of other related injuries.
If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, make sure you contact your doctor today to get a diagnosis.
This injury can be identified by evaluating the following 8 symptoms.
1. Shoulder pain
Individuals that have rotator cuff injuries experience discomfort and pain, particularly at night.
It is common for the patient to feel as if their muscles are sore or stiff.
3. Muscle weakness
After a rotator cuff injury, it is almost impossible to lift the arm overhead or hold it away from the body. You may also observe that the muscles at the back of the shoulder look smaller on the injured side than on the undamaged side.
4. Restricted Range of Motion
Anyone who suffers from this type of injury has significant trouble moving the arm. It is common for individuals to have trouble rotating the affected arm through a complete range of motion.
You can also experience a swollen and tender shoulder.
6. Crepitus or Shoulder popping
Popping and cracking sensation in the shoulder are common symptoms of this injury. This indicates that there is some trouble in the shoulder ball and socket joint.
7. Discomfort at Night
If you experience significant discomfort and pain when you lie down at night, then you are likely to experience this injury.
8. Inability to do Previously Comfortable tasks
The severity of pain becomes intense when you are reaching backward to perform any regular task such as picking up a brief case of fasten a seat belt. Activities that involve such movement such as playing tennis, throwing ball or pitching can also be quite painful.
What to do to Relieve Symptoms?
Once you successfully identify these symptoms, it is important to get in touch with a professional doctor who can make a correct diagnosis. He may recommend some preliminary measures to see if the symptoms get better or worse after treatment.
Early diagnosis can greatly help in overcoming this injury and prevents loss of motion and strength due to a prolonged condition.
The doctor is most likely to begin the treatment with a mix of pain relieving medications and physical therapy. In a few extreme cases, surgical intervention may be required.
If there are no positive results from this treatment then the doctor may evaluate your condition with the help of a few x-rays and tests including MRI and an ultrasound. These assessments help your doctor to look for damaged tissues and determining the kind of treatment plan required to cure your condition.