There is nothing fun about being
injured. Not only do we have to endure pain, but we’re often faced with
the thought of staggering medical bills. Many of us just pretend to ignore pain,
hoping it will go away. If you climbed out of bed and have been feeling constant
shoulder pain, you may have sustained a rotator cuff injury. The good news is
that you don’t necessarily need rotator cuff surgery. It just depends
on the extent of your injuries.
If you’re experiencing a great
deal of pain in your shoulder, it’s likely that you’ve injured one
of your four shoulder muscles. You may know how this occurred. In the case of
athletes who throw balls every day, this could be a problem that occurred over
time. These are called chronic injuries. It may, however be a one time incident
such as falling or landing on your arm. These are called acute injuries. Whether
chronic or acute, the treatment depends on the seriousness of the injury. The
severity of your injury will dictate whether or not you need rotator cuff surgery.
Rotator cuff surgery is not the answer
to rotator cuffs that aren’t torn. If you have sustained an injury but
not a tear, it is probably that your rotator cuff is inflamed. This is called
“impingement”. The good news is that impingement does not require
rotator cuff surgery or really any sort of treatment at all. It will basically
get better on its own, although it may take a while. Your doctor can prescribe
anti-inflammatory medications or muscle relaxers to help your journey to recovery
be a smoother one. Some doctors even recommend a special "rotator
cuff pillow" to help you sleep better at night.
Many torn rotator cuffs do require
rotator cuff surgery. This is because, if left untreated, the condition could
worsen over time. Not only would you begin to experience more and more pain
and discomfort. You could also end up suffering from arthritis.
It’s important to realize that
you can’t diagnose yourself. A doctor can’t even tell you if you’ll
need rotator cuff surgery merely by conducting a physical exam. If you sustain
a rotator cuff injury, your doctor will order an anthrogram. This is a process
where radioactive dye is injected through the veins and flows through to highlight
the damaged areas of the shoulder, appearing on the X-ray. The doctor will then
be able to determine if you have a true tear or not.
If you have sustained a serious tear,
your doctor will probably advise rotator cuff surgery. If the word surgery alone
sends your mind whirling with panic, don’t be alarmed. Rotator cuff surgery
is usually an outpatient surgery. You probably won’t even have to spend
the night in the hospital, and in many cases, this is performed under local
anesthetic. This means that you won’t feel anything, but you won’t
be put to sleep either.
The very next day, you will begin
exercises, and within a few months you could be back to normal. Nobody wants
to have surgery, but rotator cuff surgery really is a fairly straightforward
procedure that can offer you mobility and pain
Written by Dr. Joseph J. Berke, M.D.,
Discover how sleeping on The
Sleep Better Pillow can change your life.
Dr. Joseph J. Berke is an author
and inventor dedicated to helping people get a better nights rest
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