Your rotator cuff is the group of tendons and muscles at your shoulder joint that help stabilize it during motion. These muscles, which are four in number, are what help you move your shoulder. Unfortunately, the rotator cuff is very vulnerable to injuries, such as tendinitis, tears, and strains. These injuries are often caused by trauma, wear and tear, and overuse and can cause acute or ongoing pain. Severe rotator cuff pain may be debilitating enough to necessitate surgery. However, a Leawood rotator cuff tear can alleviate your discomfort through the following conservative treatments.
Physical therapy is often the first line of treatment for soft tissue injuries like rotator cuff pain. Your doctor tailors a treatment regimen to your symptoms, fitness level, and current health designed to help strengthen and restore flexibility to your shoulder, back, and arm muscles. Eventually, these exercises help improve your range of motion, alleviate your pain, stabilize your joint, and protect you from future injuries. Your doctor or physical therapist can also guide you on how to perform day-to-day activities like brushing your teeth and lifting your arm safely.
A rotator cuff tear is often accompanied by soft tissue inflammation, which can be painful and uncomfortable, especially when you move your arm. Your doctor may use medications to alleviate this inflammation. Usually, they may prescribe NSAIDs like naproxen or ibuprofen to combat the pain and inflammation. If your pain is severe enough to interfere with your daily life, they may also recommend prescription pain relievers for several weeks to improve function and mask your pain. However, you mustn’t use prescription pain medication long-term.
Activity Modification and Rest
Another way your doctor can help treat a rotator cuff tear is through activity modification and rest. These interventions are commonly applied to partial tears and can help alleviate swelling and pain. Essentially, your doctor helps you adjust the way you perform normal activities to relieve stress from your shoulder. They may also ask you to rest the joint and resume normal activity gradually.
Rotator cuff pain can also be alleviated through corticosteroid injections. These are steroid medications injected into the joint to relieve severe pain. Because of their strong anti-inflammatory properties, corticosteroid injections are only used when other treatments fail. They provide temporary relief but are not recommended for long-term use because they can weaken your shoulder tendons.
Lastly, your doctor may recommend and coach you through several lifestyle changes designed to improve your body’s ability to heal itself. These changes may include smoke cessation since tobacco can inhibit your body’s natural healing ability. Your doctor may also help you change your diet and adopt a less sedentary lifestyle.
Kick Rotator Cuff Pain Today
Rotator cuff pain can be debilitating – so much so that you are unable to engage in daily activities. However, surgery can be risky and stressful to consider, which is why these nonsurgical treatments are crucial. They can help you regain your range of motion and alleviate your rotator cuff pain. These treatments are often effective when the tear is partial, and your tendons are still partly connected to your shoulder bone. To learn more, contact a specialist today and share your symptoms.