likes to get hurt. What’s worse
is when you realized that you’ve sustained
an injury that you won’t bounce back from
right away. Perhaps you fell and landed on your
shoulder. The constant pain your feeling may mean
that you’ve torn your rotator
you’re not sure what a rotator cuff is,
it’s located in your shoulder. You have
four muscles that are located there, and injuring
one of them means that you have a rotator cuff
injury. You may not actually have a torn
rotator cuff. The best case scenario would
be finding out that you only injured it.
if you haven’t fallen, but you’re
still experiencing the pain in your shoulder.
Maybe you are an athlete, and you constantly use
your shoulder muscles to throw balls to teammates
and opponents. You may not even be able to isolate
an event in which you sustained injuries. You
could still have a torn rotator cuff since these
injuries can either spring from a one time event
or happen gradually over time. Torn rotator cuffs
that occur from a one time injury are labeled
as “acute” while injuries that develop
over time are called “cronic” injuries.
first thing you need to do if you suspect you
have a torn rotator cuff is to contact
your doctor. This is especially important because
it is hard for the average person to distinguish
between a torn rotator cuff and an injured rotator
cuff. Both of them exhibit similar pain. If the
cuff is not torn, it is probably inflamed. This
is a much less serious condition.
doctor can’t simply diagnose a torn
rotator cuff by a physical exam. He will
most likely order an anthrogram. This process
involves sending radioactive dye through the veins
to call attention to the damaged areas in the
shoulder. The doctor can then diagnose if it a
case of impingement (inflamed rotator cuff) or
a torn rotator cuff.
may ask yourself, “Will this heal on its
own? Do I really need to go to the doctor?”
That depends on the severity of your injury. If
you are suffering from impingement, the injury
will get better on its own. It will probably take
months, and your doctor can prescribe anti-inflammatory
medication to help you throughout the process.
however, you have suffered a torn rotator cuff,
the prognosis is more serious. If the tear is
severe, surgery is recommended. Surgery is the best option because, if left untreated,
a severely torn rotator cuff will begin causing
you more and more pain, and could possibly lead
to arthritis, a very serious condition.
some people, the idea of surgery is horrifying.
The good news is that rotator cuff surgery is a pretty simple, easy surgery.
It is often done as an outpatient procedure, meaning
that you probably won’t even have to spend
the night in the hospital. You will most likely
begin exercising the muscles the next day and
be back to normal within only a matter of short
Written by Dr. Joseph J. Berke, M.D., Ph.D.
Discover how sleeping on The Sleep Better Pillow
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Joseph J. Berke is an author and inventor dedicated
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