There are a variety of injuries that are commonly seen in athletes of specific sports. While rotator cuff injuries are common among athletes, they are also seen as an effect of aging or sometimes an individual’s type of work.
Your rotator cuff is located in your shoulder, so many people who work in jobs requiring frequent heavy lifting or movements above their head may be at an increased risk of injury. However, not every shoulder injury is a reason to be alarmed. That is why we wanted to share some information about rotator cuff injuries so that you know when it’s time to seek advanced medical care. Fortunately, when caught early, rotator cuff injuries usually require a few physical therapy sessions before people can return to their normal activities.
The Basics of the Rotator Cuff
The rotator cuff is not a singular body part. Instead, it is a group of tendons and muscles located in the shoulder. These structures are responsible for holding the head of your arm bone in place while you move your arm. Due to the nature of this structure and how we move our arms, several issues can cause a rotator cuff injury. This includes tears, impingements, and swelling injuries.
While many rotator cuff injuries result from a singular event, they can also be caused by continued use and motion. That is why rotator cuff injuries can affect any individual at any age. However, younger individuals are usually at greater risk of an injury due to an accident or a traumatic event, such as a sports injury.
The Signs and Symptoms of a Rotator Cuff Injury
There are various reasons that your shoulder or the area around the rotator cuff can hurt. A general rule of thumb is that you should seek immediate medical care if you’re unsure about an injury. However, if you have pain that has lasted for more than a few days, or if you have pain that suddenly started and is more severe, seek immediate help. Early identification and treatment can help reduce unnecessary pain and decrease treatment time.
Many individuals identify their rotator cuff injury because they are experiencing deep pain where the arm meets the shoulder or there is sudden arm weakness. Additionally, rotator cuff injuries can also make it difficult to sleep or make it hard to reach above or behind you.
Fortunately, treatment for many individuals is straightforward and can involve physical therapy and pain management sessions. In more severe cases, an injury may require surgery.