A rotator cuff is a group of four muscles and tendons that surround and stabilize the shoulder. Every time you move your shoulder, you use your rotator cuff, which allows the joint’s movement.
The rotator cuff is a commonly injured area, which causes mild ache in the shoulder and often worsens with the use of the arm away from the body. The incidence of the injuries increases with age. For painters and carpenters, it could be an occupational hazard since it requires repetitive overhead motions.
What Are The Causes And Risk Factors Of Rotator Cuff Injury?
As mentioned above, rotator cuff injuries are prevalent. Most rotator cuff injuries are mainly caused by substantial injury to the shoulder or progressive degeneration or wear and tear of the tissue. Also, heavy lifting or repetitive overhead activity for an extended duration may damage or irritate the tendon, causing the injury.
The following factors may increase your risk of having a rotator cuff injury:
- Age: As your age increases, the chance of rotator cuff injury increases. These injuries are common in people aged 60 or above
- Family history: Experts believe that there may be a genetic component involved with rotator cuff injuries as they appear more commonly in some families
- Profession: Certain occupations such as tennis player, basketball player, baseball player, carpenters, or house painters require repetitive arm motions that lead to overuse of the rotator cuff, which results in inflammation
- Trouble reaching behind the back
- Difficulty in sleeping on the affected shoulder
- Limitation in certain activities because of the pain
- Shoulder pain, especially at night
- Progressive weakness of the shoulder
- Pain or tenderness while doing overhead movement
- Difficulty while achieving full range of shoulder motion
- Avoid smoking
- Weight management
- Maintaining good posture
- Engaging in stretching and strengthening shoulder exercise, recommended by healthcare professional
- Warming up before exercise
- Learning how to lift weights properly
Symptoms of rotator cuff injury
Common symptoms of rotator cuff injury include:
Why does rotator cuff pain?
The inflamed or torn tendon mainly causes pain in the rotator cuff injury. The degree of pain may range from a dull, aching sensation to sharp pain that moves down the upper arm.
The pain in the rotator cuff does not correlate with the degree of the injury. The cuff consists of four muscles that surround the shoulder joint, each of the four muscles have their tendon. Issues with any of the tendons can cause rotator cuff pain.
Sometimes, the injury results from a single injury; in such circumstances, medical assessment should be provided as soon as possible, and the role of surgery should be discussed.
Below mentioned as some of the self-care strategies that you can do to prevent the development of rotator cuff: