How do I know if I have a rotator cuff injury?

Are you having pain in your shoulder? It could be caused by different things, but you may have a rotator cuff injury – read on for some signs that you may have damaged this very important part of the arm.

What is the rotator cuff?

The rotator cuff is made up of muscles and tendons that make up the shoulder joint, and it is important that it works properly to keep your shoulder stable when you move your arm, to allow you to have a full range of motion, and to keep your arm in your shoulder socket.

Injuries to the rotator cuff are very common in people who perform repetitive movements as part of their job, such as constantly reaching over your head as part of your work in a warehouse or as a painter. However, anyone can have a rotator cuff injury – they can also result from a fall or an accident. You are more at risk for rotator cuff injuries if you are over 60, have a family history, or play a sport such as tennis or baseball.

It may be a rotator cuff injury if you have weakness, pain, and tenderness in your shoulder and arm. You’ll have difficulty performing simple tasks, even combing your hair or reaching behind your back. It may even be painful when you are just lying in bed, making it difficult to sleep.

To diagnose the exact cause of your shoulder pain, your doctor might want you to have an x-ray, CT scan, or an MRI. The recommended treatment will depend on how serious the injury is – if it is not severe, rest, ice packs, physical therapy, and anti-inflammatory medications may be enough for your pain. If it is severe, minimally invasive surgery may be recommended.

However, you should also know that if you have had a sudden injury to your arm and it caused immediate weakness, you should get medical help immediately.

The bottom line is, even if it’s not your rotator cuff, if it is causing you pain or discomfort you shouldn’t wait to get help. Call Specialty Orthopaedics in Harrison, New York, at 914-686-0111, for an appointment today!

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