The rotator cuff muscles play a crucial role in maintaining the shoulder joint’s stability by ensuring the ball-shaped head of the humerus bone stays in line with the socket of the shoulder blade.
It allows for smooth movement of the hand and arm. As people age or suffer from injuries, the risk of rotator cuff tears increases, which can result in severe pain during nighttime and restricted mobility in various directions. That’s why knowing some ways to treat rotator cuff tears and having a pain-free shoulder sounds excellent.
That said, it’s essential to know the symptoms of rotator cuff tears before discussing the treatment methods. So, let’s get started.
Symptoms of Rotator Cuff Tears
It is important to be aware of the symptoms of a torn rotator cuff so that you can receive prompt and effective treatment, which can help alleviate the pain in your shoulders and surrounding areas.
Proper awareness of the symptoms will help you seek treatment promptly, increasing the likelihood of a successful outcome. So, let’s quickly look at the signs of tears in the rotator cuff muscles.
The torn cuff muscle in the shoulder joint usually causes dull aches during the daytime, further increasing at night. Also, trying to do something using your hands would result in more pain and discomfort.
You might feel weakness in the arms and the collarbone with the muscles’ inability to keep the shoulder joint in place, which is further accompanied by a throbbing pain inside.
An injury to the rotator cuff muscles will undoubtedly limit your arm movements. You will feel your arms getting stiffer, making it impossible to rotate, let alone use the arms like earlier.
- Limited Range of Motion
You won’t be able to use your arms similarly since the torn muscles will render the joint stiff and immobile.
So, these were the symptoms of rotator cuff tears. Now, let’s move on and discuss the conservative treatment options described below.
Conservative Treatment Options
There are many treatment options or remedies that you can try to ease the pain caused due to rotator cuff tears. Here they are
- RICE Therapy
One of the best ways to treat torn rotator cuff without surgery is using RICE therapy. These methods will help you seek relief from internal swelling in the torn muscle region. You must limit your arm movements as much as possible and use cold compression multiple times daily.
Physiotherapy is also an effective way to treat yourself for rotator muscle tears. However, you need to ensure that the physiotherapist is certified so you won’t have to worry about your health anymore.
Another significant way of treating shoulder pain due to rotator cuff muscle tear is administering proper pain medications. There are many medications you can opt for, including NSAIDs and analgesics. You can take analgesics to reduce pain and ensure the range of mobility is restored.
- Injection Therapy
One of the best ways to treat rotator cuff problems is through injection therapy. Here, steroids are provided to reduce pain and inflammation in the injured region. These injections can also increase muscle strength to avoid further injury.
Surgical Treatment Options
- Arthroscopic Surgery
The best treatment for rotator cuff tears is arthroscopy surgery, where the surgeon inserts a flexible tube in your shoulder joint known as an arthroscope. It has a small camera fitted at the mouth through which the doctor usually sees everything from the inside. As the least invasive procedure, it is much safer for minimal muscle tears.
- Open Surgery
In open surgery, your surgeon will put you under general anaesthesia. Once done, the muscle and other layers are opened so your doctor can directly access the rotator cuff muscles. It is usually done in cases where the injury is vast and needs to be treated through an extensive surgical procedure.
Rehabilitation quickens the recovery process, ensuring you heal faster from the surgery and can start using the arms for regular work. Immobilization is the first step in the treatment of rotator cuff tears.
Here, your arms will be tied to ensure you cannot move them and accidentally cause more mechanical injuries. Also, passive exercise is suggested for many patients since it helps restore the normal range of motion gradually.
Prevention of Rotator Cuff Tears
Knowing the most effective prevention methods is essential to remain free from the clutches of immense pain and discomfort due to rotator cuff tears. Following the practices below will reduce the chances of a tear in the rotator cuff muscles in your shoulder region.
- Exercise and Training
Proper exercise and training schedules are the best way to prevent rotator cuff muscle tears. When you work out regularly, your muscles become active, enhancing your flexibility. As a result, you won’t get injured even when you move your arm in a different direction.
- Proper Posture
Also, one of the significant ways to prevent injury to the rotator cuff muscles is by maintaining appropriate posture. For instance, you shouldn’t exert excess pressure on your arms or shoulder muscles without enough support. Moreover, try not to sleep on the sides, especially without a pillow.
- Avoiding Repetitive Movements
Performing repetitive movements is detrimental and can damage the rotator cuff muscles frequently, causing considerable injury and excruciating pain.
- Strengthening Exercises
Lastly, you should involve yourself in different strengthening exercises without fail. The stronger the muscles are in the shoulder region, the lower the chances of injury. Additionally, increased strength and flexibility will help ensure the muscles are safe from mechanical injury.
A famous American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons study revealed that about 2 million people yearly suffer from rotator cuff tears. The number here is pretty concerning, which is why people must be aware of the significant symptoms of the injury.
Besides, surgery is not always the best treatment option to cure the tear. There are specific comprehensive treatment methods also, which can be tried to avoid any significant surgical complications. But regardless of that, you should seek medical advice from a professional who can provide you with the proper treatment for torn rotator cuff without surgery.