Rotator cuff issues are accountable for almost millions of doctor visits yearly. It is important to note that the rotator cuff enables the greatest range of motion of any joint in the body and allows the individual to engage in various daily tasks.
The muscles and tendons that comprise the rotator cuff are responsible for keeping the ball of the upper arm bone securely in the shoulder socket and connect the bone with the shoulder blade. Constant movements and falls are two main causes of rotator cuff issues that can vary from minimal irritation and inflammation as well as damage to the tendons and muscles.
A characteristic indication of rotator cuff issues is pain. Any usual movement that abruptly becomes painful such as raising the arm above the head or lifting an object might be attributed to a damaged rotator cuff.
The severity of the pain can indicate if the injury is a major one. If the individual winces in pain during slight movement of either arm, he/she most likely severely damaged the muscles or tendons around the rotator cuff. When it comes to severe injuries, it should be evident at the time it was sustained as the pain will become intense, instant and continuous. In such cases, it is vital to consult a doctor as soon as possible.
The loss of power in an arm can indicate rotator cuff issues. This might be caused by an injury during an accident that results to a tear or from years of use. In both circumstances, the shoulder muscles become weaker and disrupt with the capability of the individual to lift objects or reach above the head. This issue is aggravated among the elderly as the muscles tend to lose their strength as one starts to age. The weakness and discomfort generally results to increased limited range of motion.
Rotator cuff issues that develop over time due to overuse or constant movements result to subtle symptoms from injuries sustained from an accident such as a fall. The discomfort caused by overuse results to tenderness in the shoulder. Simple arm movements can become tedious and hard to perform and often accompanied by minimal pain. Take note that this type of discomfort can also originate from years of sleeping on the same side. The pressure applied on the shoulder every night contributes to the wear and tear that the rotator cuff has to endure for a lifetime.
What are the possible causes?
The rotator cuff can end up damaged in various ways with normal wear and tear as the usual reason. The arms are utilized everyday in various ways including sports or athletics. Constant movements such as throwing in basketball or swinging in golf can lead to the wearing down of the muscles and tendons over time.
The muscles weaken as an individual starts to age and become prone to injury. This is considered as a risk that is worsened if the individual is physically active on a regular basis. Other possible causes of rotator cuff issues include falls since the arms are instinctively used to break falls as well as poor posture as well as tears and strains when lifting heavy objects. These can cause the muscles and tendons to become pinched beneath the shoulder.