Understanding Rotator Cuff Risks
Without a healthy shoulder, simple tasks like lifting and even running become difficult. Rotator cuff injuries are one of the more common shoulder issues handled by doctors. The rotator cuff is where the arm and shoulder bones meet. To protect this joint, a group of muscles, tendons, and ligaments combine to form the rotator cuff. These ligaments allow the shoulder and arm to rotate freely, lift, twist, and throw. Unfortunately, this opens up the chances of injury over time. Some movements are riskier than others. These 3 movements, in particular, can cause pain and tears.
1) A dangerous throwing arm
Playing sports is one of the primary causes of rotator cuff tears. Baseball players, basketballers, lacrosse players, and football players make sharp throwing motions. Over time, this could cause a dull ache in the rotator cuff. In severe cases, one move can cause a rotator cuff tear that will need long-term treatment. Persons playing sports with throwing or catching balls at high speed are at risk.
2) Overhead movements can be sink or swim
What about an overhead movement? Professional swimmers and golfers rely on repetitive shoulder motion to perform at a high level. Tennis players and volleyball players use constant overhead motions as well. These athletes rely on powerful shoulders and arms to win games. However, overhead movement increases the risk of rotator cuff tendinitis and tears.
3) Dangerous work overhead
Athletes may be prone to injury, but these high-performance stars aren’t the only ones at risk. Several everyday jobs can cause rotator cuff injuries too. Some jobs have repetitive motions that put a strain on the shoulder. Painters, carpenters, loggers, and construction workers all feel pain due to wear and tear. Rotator cuff injuries make up more than 12% of overall occupational injuries.
Time to repair the shoulder
In some instances, a doctor will suggest shoulder arthroscopy to repair the rotator cuff. At this point, the doctor refers the patient to an orthopedic surgeon. Shoulder arthroscopy is a minimally invasive procedure. Using an arthroscope, the surgeon makes a small incision to assess the damage at the shoulder joint. An arthroscope is a snake-like tool with a camera attached for a detailed view of damaged joints. Through another small incision, the surgeon then repairs the damaged rotator cuff. With a high success rate and quick turnaround time, shoulder arthroscopy is the second most common joint surgery done yearly.
When would a patient need shoulder arthroscopy?
The procedure works best for patients dealing with chronic pain. If the results prove that non-surgical options have failed, surgery is the next best step. If an MRI or x-ray shows significant damage, then the doctor may consider going straight to surgery. The most crucial step is to speak with a doctor for any signs of constant shoulder pain.
Get your rotator cuff repaired today
Any activity that relies on constant overhead movements can cause a rotator cuff injury. Athletes and some high-risk, physical jobs are typical examples. Serious rotator cuff injuries need critical care. Speak with a doctor immediately for consistent rotator cuff pain. With shoulder arthroscopy and lifestyle changes, pain can be relieved for good.