Rotator cuff tears impact many individuals. Tears can occur with injury, like falling with an arm stretched out, or gradual degeneration. Overhead athletes are more susceptible to tears from repeated motions and/or lifting too heavy too soon.
Signs & Symptoms of RTC Tears:
Difficulty raising or lowering your arm
Pain lying on that arm/often worsens at night
Increased popping or clicking noises when moving your arm
While tendonitis pain can present similarly, the greatest difference will be whether you can move the arm overhead or not.
What To Do:
The sooner you start rehab, the sooner you'll be able to work on diminishing pain, restoring range of motion and strengthening in pain free ranges. Through specific movement tests, Physical Therapists can help guide you on how severe they feel the tear is and options for your recovery.
Often times an MRI will be prescribed; depending on the severity of the tear will determine whether or not you'll need surgery. Shoulder injuries are often painful and take awhile to heal, but they do get better!
If surgery is required, the post. op. protocol will vary depending on your surgeon but typically people are in a sling for ~ 6weeks., and full recovery takes ~ 6 months. The main goal is to restore range of motion and strength while also allowing the tissues to heal properly. Your Physical Therapist will make sure to guide you on the movements allowed and on hold during various parts of your recovery.
While injuries happen, the body is incredible and does heal. It's a slow and steady process but you will get there. If you're interested in learning more about our treatment approaches fill out the form below.