I’ve heard it all over the last 5 years when it comes to the pronunciation of the term “Rotator Cuff.” It always gives me a good chuckle when I hear all the crazy stuff people come up with! ☺️What’s more important is the pain and dysfunction you may be dealing with when it comes to rotator cuff injury or dysfunction⚠️
In layman terms, the Rotator Cuff is a group of muscles that morphs into tendons, which act to stabilize the shoulder joint. The rotator cuff acts in unison to help keep the humerus (upper arm bone-ball) fixated in the joint (socket). The shoulder is inherently a very mobile joint, secondary to its ability to move in multiple planes of motion. For this reason, it’s important for the rotator cuff to be functioning appropriately to give us the mobility and/or stability we need when using the extremities.
Rotator cuff tears can be both acute and chronic in nature. In fact, many of you that are reading this may have what is known as “an adaptive rotator cuff tear.” As a previous baseball player, it is fairly common to see an adaptive rotator cuff tear in an athlete that is required to move the arm in such an excessive range of motion for sport. These are often termed sport specific adaptions. Additionally, for our older folks, it is common to see a “wear & tear” or chronic rotator cuff tear. This type of tear is the kind that is often the result of postural changes or repeated exposures, often due to work history or injury. Lastly, the acute tear, is usually the result of fall or sudden jerking motion of the arm. This type of tearing is typically sudden, and can very painful in nature. It can sometimes occur with other pathology depending on the mechanism of injury.
Rotator cuff tearing can be classified in different stages. Depending on the severity of the injury, or the time since onset, Physical Therapy can be just as beneficial, if not more beneficial than other treatment options.
If you have failed PT in the past, or still lack mobility, strength or confidence with using your affected shoulder, feel free to reach out today to discuss your needs. Be on the look out on our social media channels for some tips and tricks on management for rotator cuff injuries. Figure out how to manage your shoulder pain without unnecessary surgery or medication.