Know more about rotator cuff | by heidi

Know more about rotator cuff | by heidi


     


    The rotator cuff is a set of muscles that helps the arm and shoulder move. Injuries to the rotator cuff are fairly common, but many effective treatments are available.



    These muscles work together to control arm movement and shoulder rotation. They also help keep the head of the upper arm bone, known as the humerus, in the socket of the shoulder blade, or scapula. This socket is called the glenoid.


    Rotator cuff injuries are relatively common, especially in older adults, athletes, and those with physically demanding jobs. A medical professional can diagnose a rotator cuff injury and recommend the proper course of treatment.


    In this article, we discuss the anatomy and function of the rotator cuff and common injuries that affect this muscle group.


    Definition and function



    Anatomy 


    Alongside the groups of muscles that comprise the rotator cuff, other components help with movement and function.




    Common conditions

    Some common rotator cuff injuries include:


    Tears

    A rotator cuff tear involves an injury to one of the cuff tendons. This tear can injure one or multiple tendons, but it most commonly affects the supraspinatus tendon.


    A tear can be either partial or full-thickness. A partial tear, also known as an incomplete tear, damages the tendon but does not completely sever it. A full-thickness, or complete tear, totally severs the tendon from the bone and may leave a hole in the tendon.


    The main causes of a rotator cuff tear are injury and degeneration. An acute tear happens when trauma or an accident results in injury and a torn tendon. However, most tears are degenerative, which means that they happen slowly over time. A degenerative tear could develop as a result of ongoing stress to the tendon, lessened blood supply during aging, or bone spurs.



    Tendinitis


    Tendonitis typically occurs due to irritation or damage to the tendons following sporting or repetitive overhead movements. Some people may also experience a shoulder impingement, also known as swimmer’s shoulder, in which a tendon or bursa rubs against the shoulder blade, causing pain. This type of injury is common among people who play sports such as baseball and tennis or have occupations such as construction and painting.


    After asking about the person’s specific symptoms, a doctor may perform a physical exam and suggest imaging tests to help confirm the diagnosis.


    Bursitis

    Bursitis refers to the inflammation of a bursa. These lubricating sacs allow the rotator cuff tendons to glide freely when a person moves their arm. However, too much frictionTrusted Source in the shoulder from repetitive movements or trauma may cause irritation and result in bursitis.


    Similar to other rotator cuff injuries, a doctor will typically perform a physical exam and use imaging tests to help diagnose bursitis of the shoulder.


    Symptoms of injury 

    The symptoms of rotator cuff injury vary depending on the individual and the injury they have sustained. Some common symptoms of injury may include:


    pain or swelling in the shoulder

    difficulty moving the arm

    a clicking or popping sound when moving the arm

    weakness in the shoulder


    Treatments and tips for rotator cuff health 


    taking over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or pain medications to minimize swelling and discomfort

    applying cloth-wrapped ice packs to the affected area

    resting and avoiding activities that may irritate the shoulder

    sleeping on the unaffected side or on the back

    taking warm baths or showers to help relax the muscles




    When to contact a doctor 

    Anyone experiencing chronic shoulder pain should consider contacting a doctor or orthopedic surgeon. These professionals can evaluate the shoulder, determine the cause of pain, and suggest treatment options to relieve symptoms and aid recovery.

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