If you work in a trade like painting or carpentry, if you fish every chance you get and practice casting between visits to the lake or river, you might be familiar with your rotator cuff. This group of muscles and tendons surround your shoulder joint to keep the head of your upper arm bone in its place, and your shoulder functioning and feeling well.
When a rotator cuff injury occurs, those muscles and tendons give way and your upper arm bone slips out of its shallow socket. Injuries are most often caused by repetitive motion and overuse. So, if you work in a job that requires you to use your shoulder in the same manner day after day—or if you play a sport that involves repetitively raising your arm above your shoulder—you’re more likely to sustain a rotator cuff injury.
How will you know if you have a rotator cuff injury?
Over time, with repetitive motion, you may feel a dull ache in your shoulder or notice a limited range of motion. For example, raising your arm to comb your hair, attempting to scratch that itch between your shoulder blades or reaching something on the top shelf is extremely difficult. If you experience weakness in your arm, see a doctor immediately.
What to do if you get a rotator cuff injury
The great news is, most minor rotator cuff tears or other problems can heal with some good old-fashioned home remedies:
- Rest works wonders – If you’re hurting, don’t use the affected shoulder for a few days. Specifically, be sure to avoid the movement that caused you pain.
- Heat and ice – Ice or a cold pack for about 20 minutes every few hours can reduce swelling, while heat can help relax tight or sore muscles.
- Pain relievers – Taking the recommended dosage of over-the-counter pain relievers can help manage your pain until your injury heals. Try ibuprofen (Advil®, Motrin®, etc.) or acetaminophen (Tylenol®, Excedrin® or others).
Trusted care for rotator cuff injury and more, on your doorstep
If you suspect you have rotator cuff damage, and no amount of home care has helped, come see us at Salt River Orthopaedics. In addition to pain management and nonsurgical therapy, we provide advanced, minimally invasive surgical procedures to treat rotator cuff injury in Star Valley. As a service of Star Valley Health, we are proud to offer nationally recognized, exceptional care throughout Lincoln County.
If you’re in pain, there’s no need to wait to feel better when we’re here to help! To schedule an appointment, call 307-885-5870 or use our easy, online form.