Could your shoulder pain be a rotator cuff injury?

One of the most common problems treated by physiotherapists at Spinal Care Olympic Park is shoulder pain - in particular, injury to the rotator cuff. The shoulder is one of the most mobile and used joints in the body and as a result, is often susceptible to injury, and wear and tear.

What is the ‘rotator cuff’?
The rotator cuff comprises of four muscles that are responsible for keeping the shoulder joint stable. Unfortunately, injury to the rotator cuff is extremely common due to the frequency of which we use our shoulders and subsequently, repeated overuse. Injury to the rotator cuff often takes shape in the form of a strain or tear to the cuff, its muscles, tendons, and joint capsule that stabilises the shoulder.

Who is affected by rotator cuff injuries? What does it feel like?
Due to the frequent use of our shoulders, injury to the rotator cuff can occur amongst individuals of all ages - from athletes to heavy labourers, older adults, and younger adults who may have been partaking in an activity as simple as walking a dog that pulls on the leash.
Symptoms of a rotator cuff injury can include:

  • Pain over the top of the shoulder or down the outside of the arm

  • Pain on elevating the arm

  • Shoulder weakness or pain when attempting to reach or lift

  • Pain when sleeping on the affected side

  • ‘Clicking’ noise in the shoulders

  • Loss of shoulder motion

How can a physiotherapist help?
Rebecca our Physiotherapist at Spinal Care Olympic Park can help:

  • Diagnosis of your shoulder injury

  • Restore range of motion, muscle strength and coordination

  • Help modify physical activity so less stress is placed on the shoulder

  • Help speed up healing and avoid permanent damage

  • Manage symptoms of chronic cuff tears

  • Teach strategies to improve overall shoulder movement and performance

If left untreated, injury to the rotator cuff can cause severe pain, decrease ability in the arm, and discomfort later in life. If you are experiencing discomfort to your shoulder or suspect you have injured your rotator cuff, make an appointment to see a physiotherapist now. Call us on (02) 8964 6385 or book online to see Rebecca (link to bio) our Physio.

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