Difficulty reaching up to grab holiday decorations off an overhead shelf. Pain when playing catch with your kids. These are just a few of the ways a rotator cuff problem can impact your daily life.
Rotator cuff injuries are much more common than many people might think. It’s estimated that approximately 2 million Americans per year visit their doctor with a rotator cuff issue. Physical therapists can help treat rotator cuff injuries, but knowing as much as possible about your injury can help improve the effectiveness of your therapy.
What is the rotator cuff?
The rotator cuff consists of four muscles, which help stabilize the shoulder joint. They also allow the shoulder joint to be highly mobile. Damage to these muscles and the attached ligaments can be due to aging, chronic overuse or injury. An damaged rotator cuff can cause a setback due to pain and decreased motion of the shoulder joint.
Types of rotator cuff injuries
There are many ways that the rotator cuff can be injured. Some of the most common include:
- Acute rotator cuff tears — This injury can occur from a spontaneous raising of the arm against resistance.
- Chronic rotator tears — Chronic tears typically result from sports with excessive overhead activity, such as tennis. This can lead to degenerative changes in the tendon and cause decreased function over time.
- Tendinitis — This issue is a result of the wearing out of the tendons and muscles due to age. It takes a long time to heal and can lead to a secondary tear of the rotator cuff.
- Glenohumeral subluxation — A shoulder problem that occurs when the shoulder joint is loose and unstable. It causes the rotator cuff to have to work harder and can lead to other injuries, discomfort or weakness.
How can physical therapy help treat rotator cuff injuries?
For many, physical therapy is an effective treatment option for rotator cuff injuries. As a matter of fact, studies have shown that those who went for physical therapy for a rotator cuff injury did just as well as those who had surgery.
Physical therapy is an excellent way to gain back movement and strength after a rotator cuff injury. The treatment plan your physical therapist builds for you will be multifaceted and can include therapy methods like:
- Therapeutic exercises
- Manual therapy
- Instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization (IASTM)
- Redcord® therapy
In addition, a physical therapist can help you improve posture, learn to carry objects safely and get you back to doing your normal daily activities.
Armor Physical Therapy can help treat your damaged rotator cuff
Recovering from a rotator cuff injury? Our Armor Physical Therapy team can help you speed up your recovery. We offer free screenings intended to pinpoint the exact issues your injury is causing. Our team also excels at building personalized therapy plans for many types of shoulder injuries.
Not able to get to one of our therapy clinics? No problem! We offer therapy services that you can use from home, including virtual care and at-home therapy appointments. You can even start using our therapy services without waiting to get a doctor’s referral.
Contact us today for more information about our therapy services or to schedule an initial appointment.