The shoulder has more flexibility and a wider range of motion than any other joint in the human body. This is due to the rotator cuff, a group of four muscles and multiple tendons.
Rotator cuff tears are the most common cause of shoulder pain for people over 40. The general types of rotator cuff tears are chronic and acute.
Chronic tears are most common and occur gradually because of repetitive overhead motion, such as painting, lifting, swimming, throwing, or tennis. An acute rotator cuff tear results from a direct shoulder injury.
The gradual pain associated with chronic tears is progressive. The pain begins mildly and only when a person is reaching or lifting. After a while, the pain becomes more intense and happens even at rest. Shoulder weakness, stiffness, and popping are common.
Rotator cuff tears caused by injury often reveal an immediate snap or pop followed by pain and loss of shoulder motion.
An orthopedic rotator cuff exam includes x-ray or other imaging studies (i.e. MRIs).
Non-surgical and surgical treatment options may be available. An orthopedic physician will determine the best treatment option for your injury and activity level.
If you are experience persistent pain and weakness in the shoulder. Or if you feel you may have a torn rotator cuff, call Valley Orthopedic Associates. 425-656-5060.
Read about rotator cuff tears, here.