While not all shoulder pain is due to a rotator cuff tear, treatment in Kansas City at F.I.T. Muscle & Joint Clinic for shoulder pain often reveals unknown rotator cuff issues, which sometimes includes tears.
Read on to learn more about rotator cuff tear treatment in Kansas City.
What is a rotator cuff?
The rotator cuff consists of four muscles that provide stability and improve the overall function of the shoulder. These muscles include the infraspinatus, teres minor, supraspinatus, and subscapularis. Each of these muscles has a different function. However, they also function as a unit to provide support and strength to the shoulder joint as it moves through all ranges of motion.
The shoulder is the most mobile joint in the body, and thus the most inherently unstable. Thanks to the shoulder capsule, ligaments, and surrounding musculature, the shoulder is a dynamic and versatile joint which provides important function for all activities of daily living.
When lifting overhead, other muscles are at play to properly move the shoulder blade so the shoulder joint can work optimally. The over- or under-activation of certain muscles can lead to abnormal mechanical movement of the shoulder blade, thus decreasing the range of motion and causing irritation to the shoulder.
How is a rotator cuff typically injured?
Rotator cuff tears usually occur due to a traumatic event. People who play contact sports and sports with repetitive overhead activity can cause tears or injury to the rotator cuff, such as tendinitis.
Acute rotator cuff tears typically occur from a forceful movement overhead with activities that can include contact sports, weightlifting, swimming, and throwing sports. Chronic rotator cuff tears can also occur in these same athletes from damage to the rotator cuff over time due to poor biomechanics and irritation to the tissue.
Over time, there is normal degeneration of tissue throughout the body, and the rotator cuff is no exception. The rotator cuff can begin to fray as we age, which may eventually lead to full tears.
What does a rotator cuff tear feel like?
Symptoms of a rotator cuff injury can include:
- an inability to lift the arm overhead
- shoulder weakness
- pain with lifting the arm
- pain at rest or at night
- loss of range of motion
- and popping or clicking in the shoulder with movement
Rotator cuff tear treatment in Kansas City
Physical therapy can help alleviate the symptoms of an injury to the rotator cuff. That's because physical therapy focuses on improving the stability and strength of the shoulder joint after a rotator cuff injury. It concentrates on correct functional movement of the shoulder that corresponds to everyday activities, as well as sports or work-specific duties.
Rotator cuff tear treatment with physical therapy in Kansas City at F.I.T. Muscle & Joint Clinic is effective at:
- reducing pain
- increasing shoulder range of motion
- decreasing inflammation
- improving strength
- improving overall shoulder function
Not all rotator cuff tears need surgical management, and many respond fully to conservative treatment approaches. Patients with major rotator cuff tears may require surgery to correct. However, physical therapy will improve outcomes after surgery.
Patients who receive physical therapy before surgery have shown to have improved strength, range of motion, and decreased pain after surgery in a shorter amount of time.
Ready to seek rotator cuff tear treatment in Kansas City?
The therapists at F.I.T. Muscle & Joint Clinic have extensive experience in rehabbing rotator cuff injuries to prevent surgery and to recover from rotator cuff surgery.
Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you manage your pain, treat your rotator cuff tear, and prevent future injuries.