Rotator cuff injuries are a very common type of shoulder injury: they are the reason why every year, approximately three million Americans visit their orthopedic doctors.
In case you’re wondering what the rotator cuff is, it is a group of shoulder muscles and tendons (the strong fibers that connect muscles to bones) that surround your shoulder. These muscles and tendons form a “cuff” over the top of the humerus (upper arm bone) to keep it firmly in place within the shallow socket of the shoulder. The rotator cuff helps control the movement of the arm and shoulder and allows the arm to rotate and move upward to the front, back, and side.
Let’s explore the possible causes and symptoms of rotator cuff injuries and find out where to seek first-rate rotator cuff injury treatment in Central Maryland.
Causes of Rotator Cuff Injuries
Rotator cuff injuries occur when any of the muscles and tendons that make up the rotator cuff gets inflamed, irritated, or damaged as a result of:
· Repetitive Stress
Repeating the same shoulder movements over and over can take a toll on your rotator cuff muscles and tendons.
Sports that involve repetitive (overhead) shoulder movements, such as baseball, rowing, and tennis can put you at risk of rotator cuff injuries. Certain jobs and routine chores can put you at risk of rotator cuff tears as well.
· Lack of Blood Supply
As people get older, the blood supply in their rotator cuff tendons also decreases. Without a good blood supply, you’re also at a greater risk of tearing a rotator cuff.
This explains why rotator cuff injuries are more prevalent among people over 40 years of age.
· Bone Spurs from Repeated Rubbing
As your rotator cuff tendons move through the narrow space between the top of your shoulder and your upper arm, they can rub on your bones. This repeated rubbing can result in the formation of bone spurs which, in turn, pinch your rotator cuff tendons, eventually causing inflammation, irritation, pain, stiffness, and sometimes, tearing of the tendon/s.
Symptoms of A Rotator Cuff Injury
If you have torn your rotator cuff, you will likely notice the following symptoms, which may develop gradually over time:
- A crackling, popping, or clicking sensation when moving your arm
- Difficultly and pain when moving your arm or lifting things
- Pain in the front of the shoulder that may spread down the side of the arm
- Pain that increases over time and may be present when resting
- Stiffness in the shoulder
If a rotator cuff tear is caused by a traumatic injury, you may experience a snapping sensation and sudden pain. Your arm may also immediately feel weak, and you may have difficulty moving it.
Rotator Cuff Injury Treatment in Central Maryland
If you’re seeking high-quality treatment for your rotator cuff injury, schedule a consultation with one of our board-certified orthopedic specialists at Orthopaedic Associates of Central Maryland (OACM). Our providers underwent intensive training in a wide range of orthopedic specialty areas, including sports medicine, joint replacement, and arthroscopic surgery.
To find out more about our services or to book an appointment with one of our orthopedic specialists, call us today at (410) 644-1880, or toll-free at (855) 4MD-BONE. We look forward to serving you!