Rotator cuff tears are common problems that lead to pain and disability. Nearly two million Americans see their doctors regarding a rotator cuff problem every year. Torn rotator cuffs weaken the shoulder. This is detrimental if individuals need to perform physical labor for their job. However, it can also make completing day-to-day tasks more difficult. As a result, getting dressed, buttoning a shirt, and brushing hair may all be painful endeavors. There are multiple causes and potential complications from a rotator cuff tear. When individuals use their shoulder muscles, they should make sure they are always using the proper form and resting when necessary.
Patients should receive treatment for a rotator cuff tear. Some individuals will find some success with electrical stimulation for a rotator cuff tear. Rotator cuff surgery is often used as well. Physical therapy for a rotator cuff tear helps with recovery. Pain medication is often the best pain relief for a rotator cuff tear. However, patients can also try natural remedies for rotator cuff pain. Of course, prevention is incredibly helpful too.
Age-related degeneration is responsible for the majority of rotator cuff tears. A degenerative tear is categorized differently from an acute tear, which occurs due to a sudden injury. As individuals age, their shoulder tendons slowly wear down over time. This is a natural part of getting older. Individuals are more likely to develop a rotator cuff tear in their dominant arm. As these tears are related to degeneration, they tend to cause chronic issues rather than healing completely. A few different factors influence the degenerative aging process. If individuals perform repetitive motions, such as baseball pitching or tennis serves, their tendon can become worn down and torn due to overuse.
Aging also causes less blood to be supplied to the rotator cuff, so they do not have the same ability to repair tendon damage. Some patients also develop bone spurs. These bony growths can develop underneath the acromion bone. As an individual's arm lifts, their rotator cuff tendon rubs against the spurs, leading to further wear-and-tear. Rubbing and pinching caused by bone spurs is called shoulder impingement.