As we age or engage in repetitive movements, the risk of developing rotator cuff injuries increases. The rotator cuff comprises of four muscles and tendons that connect the shoulder blade to the upper arm. Its main function is to stabilize and move the shoulder joint. Anyone can experience a such an injury and use tens for rotator cuff tears in shoulder, but most are common among athletes, manual laborers or people over the age of 40.
A rotator cuff tear can occur suddenly or gradually, and often presents varying levels of pain and weakness. The unfortunate reality is that many people live with a rotator cuff tear for a long time without even realizing it. Nevertheless, untreated rotator cuff injuries can lead to long-term effects, such as severe pain, a decreased range of motion, and an inability to perform daily activities.
It is important to recognize the signs of a rotator cuff tear to undergo proper diagnosis and to seek prompt treatment. The warning signs may vary, ranging from mild discomfort to significant pain levels. This post will discuss the most common signs of a rotator cuff tear.
- Pain when lifting the arm
This pain can range from dull to sharp and is often felt at the front of the shoulder or on the side of the arm. The pain usually starts off mild and gradually increases over time as the injury worsens. In some cases, the pain can be so severe that it may prevent you from lifting the arm completely. If this symptom persists, it may be prudent to consult with a medical professional to determine the underlying cause.
- Weakness in the shoulder
This weakness can manifest itself in a variety of ways, such as difficulty lifting or holding objects, weakness when attempting to throw or catch, and decreased range of motion in the affected arm. These symptoms are often present in rotator cuff tears that occur as a result of chronic overuse, or degeneration of the rotator cuff muscles due to age or injury. In some cases, surgical intervention may be necessary to repair the torn rotator cuff and restore full shoulder function.
- Difficulty moving the arm
Specifically, you may experience weakness or pain when lifting, reaching or holding objects. This can occur due to damage to the tendons or muscles in the rotator cuff, which are responsible for stabilizing the shoulder joint and facilitating arm movements. The severity of this symptom can vary depending on the extent of the tear however, if you notice a decrease in shoulder function to prevent further damage and expedite the recovery process. Your doctor may recommend rest, physical therapy or surgery depending on the severity of the tear.
- Sudden clicking or popping sound
This can occur when you move your arm or shoulder in a particular way, such as during a physical activity or exercise. The clicking or popping sound is indicative of the tendons moving abnormally against the surrounding bony structures, and it can be accompanied by pain and weakness. If you experience this symptom. Delaying the diagnosis and treatment of a rotator cuff tear can lead to further damage and a slower recovery.
- Sharp pain when reaching overhead
This can occur when lifting heavy objects, throwing a ball, or even when trying to put on a shirt or reach for something on a high shelf. The pain may be felt on the side of the shoulder and can be accompanied by a clicking or popping sensation. It is important to note that not all pain associated with reaching overhead is indicative of a rotator cuff tear, but if the pain is severe and persistent, it is recommended to seek medical attention.
Knowing the warning signs of a rotator cuff tear can make all the difference in getting prompt treatment and preventing further damage. These warning signs include pain, weakness, stiffness, and popping or clicking sensations in the shoulder. It’s important to seek medical attention if you experience any of these symptoms, as early diagnosis and treatment can lead to better outcomes and faster recovery times. Don’t hesitate to consult with a doctor if you suspect a rotator cuff tear, and be proactive in taking care of your shoulder health to prevent future injuries.