Rotator Cuff Tear

Symptoms: Symptoms of a rotator cuff injury are due to inflammation that results from the soft tissue injury associated with the strain. Shoulder pain, weakness, and reduced range of motion are the common symptoms. The swelling present in the rotator cuff is not usually visible due to how deep the rotator cuff is and the overlying musculature. Sharp pain with shoulder elevation possibly causing hiking or shrugging of the shoulder and dull/achy pain at rest is common. Some patients report a sensation of tearing or a sudden pop/click in the shoulder area accompanied by severe/sudden pain down the arm toward the elbow. Some chronic rotator cuff injury patients report no mechanism of injury but a gradual on-set of pain at night, and a gradual on-set of weakness and reduced motion.

Causes: Overuse is the most common reason for rotator cuff damage to occur. The rotator cuff is a group of four muscles that are responsible for keeping the ball of the humerus and the socket of the scapula in close connection during active motion of the arm. This group of muscles receive alot of stress during a lifetime and typically fray and wear throughout a lifetime.

Sudden trauma- can cause a quick stretch on the rotator cuff tissue, often combined with rotational forces, and/or shoulder dislocation.

Relief: Special testing by an Orthopedic physician or Physical Therapist can determine the presence of Rotator Cuff injury but the severity of the damage is most commonly assessed using MRI, Ultrasound, or CT scan. Surgical Intervention is often required for large rotator cuff tears and smaller tears are often treatable with a combination of anti-inflammatory medication, immobilization, and physical therapy intervention. Physical Therapy intervention includes manual therapy techniques to normalize the soft tissue and muscles that are limiting normal joint mechanics and putting excessive stress on the effected area of the rotator cuff. Pain relieving/anti-inflammatory modalities such as Ultrasound, Iontophoresis, laser, and Electric stimulation. Then a strengthening program is implimented that includes addressing the upper spine and shoulder complex to coordinate and normalize movement, to reduce stress and allow healing to occur.

If you’re experiencing shoulder pain, visit Neolife Physical Therapy & Wellness in D’Iberivlle, Mississippi today.


Neolife Physical Therapy & Wellness
4016 Cassimer Ave.
D’Iberville, Mississippi 39540