Anyone who’s ever had a rotator cuff injury can tell you how painful it is and how difficult they are to recover from.
Rotator cuff injuries are extremely common. They can affect people of all lifestyles- but professional athletes and those with jobs requiring repetitive overhead reaching like painters and construction workers are particularly susceptible.
It is estimated that 50% of people over the age of 65 will suffer a rotator cuff injury at least once.
With odds like these, it’s a relief to know there are steps we can take to prevent rotator cuff injuries, and treatments available to help with healing after suffering from one.
Some methods to help prevent rotator cuff injuries include:
- Maintaining good posture- With poor posture, muscles tighten and stretch, putting pressure on the area over a long period can contribute to a rotator cuff injury.
- Stretching- Simple stretches like the doorway stretch, crossover arm stretch, and the pendulum stretch are a great way to keep the muscles loose and flexible.
- Exercise- Integrating gentle shoulder exercises into your routine such as the reverse fly, lawnmower pulls, and high-to-low rows will help strengthen the muscles affected by rotator cuff injuries.
Even with prevention strategies, we can still end up with that nagging pain that signals a rotator cuff injury. Seeing a doctor is the next step, where he or she can determine the best treatment strategy.
Some treatments of rotator cuff injury include:
- Physical Therapy, Rest, and Ice– Resting the shoulder, icing it regularly, and exercises specifically to strengthen and develop flexibility in the shoulder are sometimes the only thing needed to heal a rotator cuff injury. NCO carries products such as shoulder supports, ice-therapy machine rentals, and orthopedic pillows, which support treating a rotator cuff injury at home.
- Injections- If physical therapeutic treatments don’t work, a steroid injection may be recommended, particularly if the pain is interfering with your sleep or daily activities. When nighttime pain interrupts sleeping or rest, sometimes a doctor will recommend sleeping with an orthopedic pillow, or in a recliner or lift chair.
- Surgery- There are many different options for surgeries for rotator cuff injuries, ranging from outpatient arthroscopic tendon repair to full-blown shoulder replacement. Regardless of the method, any surgery requires a recovery period. Often, these recovery periods require the same therapeutic strategies used in more conservative treatments: rest, icing, and physical therapy.
Be sure to consult a physician whenever seeking treatment for a rotator cuff injury, she or he can recommend the best exercises and strategies for healing. Whatever the suggested treatment, Newport Center Orthopedic carries a wide variety of products designed to aid in the recovery and prevention of rotator cuff injuries.
Come by and visit us for suggestions and information on products that can help or give us a shout at 1-949-644-0065!