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How to treat an injured rotator cuff

Those who work in the construction industry, house painting, or any other career requiring repetitive overhead arm motions have a higher risk of damaging their rotator cuff. Your rotator cuff is a group of tendons and muscles around the shoulder joint. Their purpose is to keep the head of the upper arm bone within the socket of your shoulder.

According to MayoClinic, a rotator cuff injury may happen with a single injury or over time.

What are the symptoms of a rotator cuff injury?

If you injured your rotator cuff, you may notice a dull ache in your shoulder. The ache may make it difficult to perform basic functions, such as brush your hair or reach behind your back. Additionally, your arms may feel weak. If you feel weak after an injury, there is a high chance it could be a damaged rotator cuff.

How can you treat a rotator cuff injury?

For mild injuries, you may only need rest and ice. However, for severe injuries, you may require surgical intervention. At first, when conservative treatments do not reduce your pain, you may require steroid injections. Unfortunately, steroid injections should only be used temporarily because they could lower surgery success or weaken the tendon.

There are four main surgeries for rotator cuff injuries, including arthroscopic tendon repair, tendon transfer, open tendon repair and shoulder replacement. Shoulder replacements are only necessary for massive rotator cuff injuries. On the other hand, Tendon transfer may be necessary if the tendon cannot reattach to the arm. In general, the purpose of rotator cuff surgery is to reattach the torn tendon.

If you do not receive treatment, you could suffer from progressive degeneration of your shoulder joint.