Cuff Tears: Rehabilitation vs. Surgery

Original Publish Date
May 16, 2021

In the physical therapy business, regardless of the time of year, we see

plenty of patients complaining of shoulder pain.

Most shoulder pain

occurs following repetitive movements. These cause wear and tear that

breaks down the rotator cuff tendons. Activities such as raking leaves

and shoveling are common culprits that send people to seek medical

attention for shoulder pain.

In addition, injuries that involve lifting can

also cause increased pain in the shoulders.

WHAT IS THE ROTATOR CUFF?

The rotator cuff is made up of four small muscles that control movement

and provide stability of the shoulder joint. Collectively, these muscles are

referred to as the ‘rotator cuff’. Your shoulder is made up of:

The rotator cuff ensures that your arm bone moves normally in the

socket and you are able to do activities such as raising your arm

overhead, behind your back, and throw a ball.

The muscles of the

rotator cuff attach to the shoulder bone via tendons.

HOW DOES THE ROTATOR CUFF TEAR?

When the tendons have been overused or an injury occurs that causes

excessive force through the tendons, they can tear.

Tendons will either

partially tear or completely tear. A tear is described in ‘degrees’ and the

degree of tear is determined by the muscles affected and the thickness

of the tear.

Repetitive overhead motions are the most common cause of tears

which is why the frequency of rotator cuff tears among construction

workers and baseball players is high.

As with many issues, the risk for

rotator cuff tears increases with age.

WHAT ARE SOME SHOULDER INJURY SYMPTOMS?

If you start feeling any of the above symptoms, you should address that

issue immediately! Usually, if you see your primary care physician or

orthopedist they will refer you to physical therapy to see if conservative

management can restore your function.

HOW CAN PHYSICAL THERAPY HELP?

Your therapist will be able to perform an evaluation and discuss what is

causing your pain or injury. They will then put together an appropriate

treatment plan tailored to your specific goals and needs.

If you are

feeling any kind of pain or discomfort in your shoulder, don’t wait to

address it. HANDLE IT NOW so you can hopefully avoid more

invasive medical treatment like injections or even surgery.

By Dr. Billy Beaudreau, PT, DPT, MTC, OCS, FAAOMPT

CALL COMPREHENSIVE PHYSICAL THERAPY TODAY AT 985-869-7221 FOR A DETAILED EVALUATION AND GET BACK TO DOING WHAT YOU LOVE!

Call Us Today

(985) 869-7221


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Call Us Today

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REQUEST AN APPOINTMENT