Your rotator cuff is a collection of four tendons and muscles which wrap over your shoulders and the top of your arms. If this muscle group suffers an injury, they can limit your movement and cause pain. Whether you need surgery or not, our team pf physical therapists in Orleans are here to explain how physiotherapy can help you to recover.
What is a Rotator Cuff?
The rotator cuff is a collection of four muscles and tendons which allow your arms to move. Every time you move your shoulders, you engage the rotator cuff.
If may help if you picture the shoulder ball and socket joint as a golf ball in a small tee. The socket is quite shallow, so the surrounding muscles play a significant role in providing stability and control to the joint (in keeping the golf ball on the tee). An injury or change to your shoulder's dynamics can quite easily result in the ball not resting properly on the tee.
You can injure your rotator cuff in a number of different ways. This injury could be caused by tendonitis, bursitis, or a variety of accidents and injuries brought on by physical activity. Often your rotator cuff will become damaged over time and with repeated use though.
Both the shoulder and hip joints have 3 degrees of movement, which makes them two of the most mobile joints in the body.
Compared to your shoulder joint, however, your hips is closer to an egg and an egg cup. The socket is much deeper and so there is more movement, fault, or injury for the gg to fall out of the cup. Your shoulders have much less joint stability than your hips
Rotator cuff injuries are very common and often quite painful. However, people tend to let them go too long, and wind up developing problematic compensation habits. Depending on the severity of the injury, and how long it has been left unaddressed, it may even require surgery.
When is Physiotherapy the Right Treatment Choice?
If you suspect that you have injured your rotator cuff, you should see your doctor as soon as possible to have your injury evaluated. Depending on its severity, there are both surgical and non-surgical treatment options which will be available to you. Your doctor may referr you to an orthopedic physician who specialized in treating injuries and illness in bones, tendons, and joints.
Often, no matter the severity of the injury, you will be prescribed physical therapy as part of your treatment plan. When you start this course of physiotherapy will depend on whether or not you will need surgery. If you don't require surgery to treat your injury, you will likely be able to start your course of physiotherapy right away. If you do require surgical treatment, physical therapy may be prescribed specifically to assist you in your recovery.
How can Physiotherapy Help?
Your physiotherapist's job first a foremost is to help you to determine the cause of your injury. Finding out why this injury occurred is the key to finding the appropriate treatment. From there, your physical therapist will need to figure out how to get the golf ball back into the tee and to keep it there in the course of all of your movements.
Physiotherapy can help you heal and recover from rotator cuff injuries in a number of different ways. These can include:
- Using ice or heat to reduce pain
- Getting back your full range of motion
- Learn exercises to strengthen your shoulder muscles
- Improve your posture while sitting or standing to reduce your pain
- Learning to properly carry heavy objects to avoid injury in the future
At your first meeting with a physiotherapist, they will gauge your range of motion by asking you a series of questions and helping you walk through a series of exercises such as raising your arm and pushing against a solid object. Once your physiotherapist has a sense of your limits, they will work with you to develop a custom treatment plan for you to manage your pain and get you back to your normal range of motion as soon as possible.
Are you experiencing shoulder pain or suspect that you injured your rotator cuff?
Our team of Orleans physiotherapists are here to help you alleviate your pain and recover your full range of motion.