• McAllen, TX - Rio Grande Valley Orthopedic Center
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Rotator Cuff Injury | Restoring Your Shoulder Strength

The rotator cuff is a powerful team of muscles and connecting tendons. These muscles and tendons attach your upper arm to your shoulder blade. Your rotator cuff helps you perform the following physical activities: reach, throw, push, pull and lift.

Experiencing shoulder pain?

Your shoulder might hurt because your rotator cuff tendons are swollen or damaged.

This could be caused by many things which might include:

  • A fall on your shoulder.
  • Strained shoulder caused by doing too much reaching or lifting.
  • Twisted your shoulder during exercise.
  • Performing your regular chores at home could have triggered your pain.
  • Repetitive shoulder movement; maybe you threw one too many pitches.

The older you get, the weaker your muscles and tendons become which means they are more easily injured. A rotator cuff injury can make everyday activities painful. What can you and your doctor do to stop the pain and get your shoulder back in shape? First your condition is evaluated. You and your doctor will then plan the best way to reduce your pain and heal your rotator cuff. Depending on your injury, your treatment may involve non-surgical care, surgical care, or both.

How can you ease the pain?

Care for your injury will most likely begin with non-surgical treatment ranging from simple rest to pain soothing injections your doctor will tell you how often you may need this treatments if the treatments relieve your pain you will be given an exercise program to restore your shoulders power if your pain just won’t quit you and your doctor may decide you need surgery.

Rest
Rest your shoulder by keeping it still. You may be giving a sling to support your arm. When sitting or lying down, try to keep a pillow between your arm and your side, because total inactivity can cause stiff joints and it would help to do some gentle stretching exercises.
Cold and Heat
Putting ice on your shoulder can help reduce inflammation and pain. Use a cold pack, a bag of frozen peas, or a towel filled with ice cubes for 15 to 20 minutes at a time. Alternating with heat and cold can also soothe your pain. Try warm showers, a hot pack or heating pad that uses moist heat.
Medication
To help relieve your pain and inflammation, your doctor may suggest that you take an oral anti-inflammatory medicine such as aspirin or ibuprofen. Your doctor will tell you how much you need.
Electrical stimulation
Electrical stimulation of muscles and nerves may decrease severe, constant pain and inflammation methods such as interferential nerve stimulation use electrical impulses to block the pain signals coming from your shoulder. Electrical impulses applied to your shoulder muscles and nerves can decrease the soreness and inflammation in your shoulder.
Ultrasound
These gentle sound waves warm the deep tissues in your shoulder. This improves blood flow and soothes sore muscles. To further reduce inflammation, cortisone cream can be worked into the muscles using ultrasound.
Injections
If your pain is severe, your doctor may inject cortisone near the inflamed area. This helps reduce the inflammation and pain. Anesthetics may also be used to control your pain.

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