The rotator cuff is a group of muscles and tendons that connect the shoulder blade to the upper arm bone. These muscles and tendons work together to provide stability and support for the shoulder joint, allowing for a wide range of movement and flexibility. However, when these muscles and tendons become damaged, it can result in a rotator cuff tear.
Rotator cuff tears can happen for a variety of reasons. One of the most common causes is overuse, especially in people who engage in repetitive overhead activities. Other causes include aging, injury, or degeneration from arthritis.
Symptoms of a rotator cuff tear include pain, weakness, and stiffness in the shoulder, as well as difficulty moving the arm and a loss of range of motion. If left untreated, a rotator cuff tear can lead to chronic pain and loss of function in the shoulder.
Why does this happen?
Rotator cuff tears are common in people over 40, especially those who engage in repetitive overhead motions, such as athletes or manual laborers. These tears can occur due to the overuse of the shoulder and the gradual wear and tear on the muscles and tendons over time.
Another cause of rotator cuff tears is injury. The rotator cuff can become torn when the shoulder is impacted, such as in a fall or accident. Additionally, degenerative conditions such as arthritis can also lead to rotator cuff tears.
How can Rotator Cuff tears be prevented?
Maintaining healthy shoulder muscles and tendons is the best way to prevent rotator cuff tears. This includes engaging in regular exercise, such as weightlifting, swimming, and other activities that work the shoulder muscles.
For people who engage in repetitive overhead activities, it is important to take frequent breaks and avoid repetitive movements that may cause strain on the shoulder. Additionally, warming up and stretching before participating in activities that involve overhead motions can help to prevent rotator cuff tears.
What treatments can be used for Rotator Cuff tears?
If a rotator cuff tear is diagnosed, several treatment options are available. Conservative treatment options, such as rest, physical therapy, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), can help to manage pain and inflammation.
Another option for the treatment of rotator cuff tears is the use of biologics, such as platelet-rich plasma or cell-based therapies, which can be used to help promote tissue regeneration. Biologic therapies are injection procedures. Blood, bone marrow, or fat tissue is collected, processed, and injected into the shoulder to help repair the damaged tissue and promote healing. These procedures are performed on an outpatient basis. There are no large incisions or lengthy hospitalizations involved.
For more severe tears, surgery may be necessary. Surgery options include arthroscopy, which uses small incisions to repair the damaged tissue, or open surgery, which involves a larger incision and a prolonged recovery.
In conclusion, rotator cuff tears can happen for various reasons. Maintaining healthy shoulder muscles and tendons is the best way to prevent them. When a rotator cuff tear is diagnosed, several treatment options are available, including biologics such as platelet-rich plasma injections and cell-based therapies. These treatments can help to manage pain, promote healing, and restore function in the shoulder. Consult with your doctor to find the best treatment plan for you.
The team at SDOMG has vast experience treating shoulder pain and using orthobiologic treatments to reduce chronic pain. Fill out the form below to learn more about how our team of experts can help.
Common Shoulder Problems and Non-Surgical Options to Treat Them
Do you have bursitis, rotator cuff tear, or joint arthritis in your shoulder? What treatment options do you have that do not involve surgery? Join us and learn from our SDOMG physicians who are experts in diagnosing and treating orthopedic conditions. They will share innovative treatments in the field of Regenerative Medicine and discuss Cell-Based Therapies like PRP, Bone Marrow, and Fat Derived Stem Cell treatments for shoulder problems.
· Date and Time : May 12, 2021. 12 pm PT
· Speaker(s): Dr. Chris Rogers and Dr. Mary A. Ambach
Dr. Christopher Rogers is one of the world’s leading experts in orthopedic regenerative medicine and a renowned speaker at national medical conferences. He has developed new approaches for the treatment of tendon injuries, osteoarthritis and disc degeneration which provide a safe and viable alternative to surgery.
Dr. Mary Ambach specializes in non-surgical orthopedics, regenerative therapies, and interventional pain management. As a key thought leader in the field of Regenerative Medicine, Dr. Ambach conducts research, trains physicians, and lectures at international medical conferences.
Nancy is an active woman in her 50s who suffered from shoulder pain after undergoing rotator cuff surgery. Dr Ambach treated her with Platelet Rich Therapy (PRP) and now Nancy has full range of motion and is living pain free!
I spent year dealing with chronic pain and flair ups. The PRP with Dr. Ambach and then my work with Megan at Evolve Physical Therapy has been life changing.
The shoulder is a highly mobile joint composed of tendons, ligaments, cartilage, and bones, all of which are prone to injury with activity and sports. People experiencing shoulder pain may be suffering from a variety of conditions such as bursitis, tendinitis, osteoarthritis, or degenerative arthritis. Shoulder pain can also be caused by sports injuries or other accidents, and those over the age of 50 are especially susceptible to developing rotator cuff tendon tears.
Symptoms of shoulder pain can range from mild to severe and may disturb physical activity and sleep. Pain, weakness, and a loss of range of motion are all symptoms of a shoulder injury. Those who participate in high-risk sports, those whose jobs involve physical labor or older adults are all at a higher risk for a painful shoulder injury. For more details, check out the below list of common causes of shoulder injuries.
Sports that involve repetitive overhead motion can be detrimental to your shoulders. The tendons that connect muscles to bones can partially or completely overstretch. Overhead arm movements can cause tendons to rub or scrape against part of the shoulder blade. Examples of sports with repetitive overhead motion include swimming, tennis, pitching and weightlifting.
Similar to the above-mentioned sports injuries, repetitive lifting at work can also be a cause of shoulder injuries. Those who work in manual labor are susceptible to shoulder injuries. This includes painters and carpenters.
Suffering from a fall, car accident, or another sudden injury can result in a rotator cuff strain or tear. Typically, these injuries cause intense and immediate pain. Rotator cuff tears often occur with other shoulder injuries, such as a broken collarbone or a dislocated shoulder.
It’s important to consider your shoulder health not only when at work or while paying sports, but also during your everyday activities. Overuse injuries can occur when too much stress is placed on a joint or other tissue, typically by overdoing and activity or through repetition of an activity. Hanging curtains, gardening and washing walls can also be causes of shoulder injuries. Performing these activities with poor posture, or insufficient joint mobility and strength may predispose you to shoulder pain.
There are many different treatment methods available for shoulder pain, most of which offer helpful yet short-term solutions. If you are looking for a long-term solution that will help heal your shoulder, our regenerative medicine therapies may be the right choice for you. Contact San Diego Orthobiologics Medical Group to schedule your consultation today! 760-483-9060.