The Basics Of Rotator Cuff Issues

One of the most common problems that orthopedic doctors see is rotator cuff injuries. The rotator cuff isn't a single component but is actually a collection of muscles that protect the humerus bone and keep it in position while allowing for proper range of motion as well. Unfortunately, when the rotator cuff suffers an injury, it can be uncomfortable at best or debilitating at worst. Here are some things that you should understand about your rotator cuff and injuries.

What Kinds Of Rotator Cuff Injuries Might You Suffer?

When you're trying to understand your rotator cuff and the ways that it's vulnerable, it's important that you know what kinds of injuries you can suffer. 

The most severe, and often discussed, rotator cuff injury is a rotator cuff strain or tear. This typically occurs because you've overextended your arm in a way that pulled on those muscles too much. Even things like a fall can lead to a hyperextension that tears one or more of those muscles.

Bursitis in the rotator cuff area is another common injury. Often the result of overuse of the arm, and sometimes due to repetitive motion, bursitis is a result of inflammation in the bursa. The bursa is a cushion between the ligaments, bones, and muscles in the joints, and when inflamed, can become quite painful.

Tendonitis is another serious concern. Overuse and repetitive use can strain the tendon in the rotator cuff, which causes tendonitis. This can be significantly painful for those affected.

What Are The Signs Of Rotator Cuff Injuries?

If you're experiencing problems with your rotator cuff, it's important that you understand the signs of injuries.

For example, persistent aching and dull pain in your shoulder may be indicative of a problem with the rotator cuff. If your shoulder muscles are stiff and sore, or if it's painful to sleep on that side, that's another key indicator that you should talk with an orthopedic doctor about your rotator cuff.

If you can't lift your arm without significant pain, have felt something pop in your shoulder, or hear crackling sounds when you raise and lower your arm, those are all key indications that your rotator cuff needs an orthopedist's attention.

Understanding the common rotator cuff injuries and the signs to watch for can help you to recognize a rotator cuff problem before you inadvertently worsen it. If you have any reason to be concerned about your rotator cuff or you're dealing with any issues in your shoulder, reach out to a local orthopedic doctor.

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