Practicing your baseball pitch or stepping up at work to do the heavy lifting are great ways to contribute to your sport or job, but these actions can put you at a greater risk of sustaining a rotator cuff tear. Taking steps, such as adjusting your sleep position, performing specific exercises and stretches, and even resting, can help you prevent a rotator cuff tear. These preventative measures can help you stay safe and healthy while perfecting that pitch and doing your job.
Your rotator cuff is made up of four tendons. A tear to any, a few, or all of these tendons can result from acute trauma, degeneration, or repetitive stresses. The most common causes include overuse, such as repetitive heavy lifting, falling, and gradual degeneration overtime.
The following are the greatest risk factors that can result in a rotator cuff tear:
- Older age
- Shoulder impingement
- Genetic predisposition
- Repetitive stresses
- Sports with repetitive overhead movements
If you sustain a rotator cuff tear, then you can go to the ORTHOKnox orthopaedic clinics in Knoxville, Tennessee, or Athens, Tennessee to discuss your treatment options. Your doctor may recommend conservative treatments or arthroplasty to repair your rotator cuff tear. Not only can the Athens and Knoxville orthopedic clinics repair your rotator cuff tear using arthroplasty, but ORTHOKnox has a skilled team of on-site physical therapists to support you before and after your surgery as well. See our blog on rotator cuff tear treatment for more information!
While some of the above risk factors are unavoidable—we get older every day and accidental falls happen—we can take some steps to reduce the risk of a rotator cuff tear.
Top rotator cuff tear prevention tips include:
- Avoiding sleeping on your side with your arm stretched upward
- Avoiding sleeping directly on your shoulder
- Maintain good posture: leaning forward toward your computer can also cause a shoulder impingement (a risk factor for rotator cuff tear)
- Do not smoke as smoking decreases the blood flow to the rotator cuff
- Avoid repetitive overarm activities (such as pitching a baseball)
- Build up strength and repetitions: start with low resistance and fewer repetitions and gradually add on
- Rest between workouts
- Massage with hot and cold compresses to reduce inflammation
- Use proper form when playing sports
- Perform stretches such as the doorway stretch (put your hands at shoulder height on the doorframe and step forward until you feel a gentle stretch)
GETTING TREATMENT FOR A ROTATOR CUFF TEAR
While we hope you take steps to reduce your risks of sustaining a rotator cuff tear, ORTHOKnox is available to help you recover if you do get injured.
With its on-site physical therapists, board-certified surgeon, and Urgent Orthopaedic Care that is available without an appointment, ORTHOKnox has got you covered. For more information about how ORTHOKnox can treat your rotator cuff tear, call (865) 251-3030, or fill out our easy-to-use online appointment request form. We look forward to hearing from you!