One of the most common causes of shoulder pain is a rotator cuff tear. A rotator cuff tear is when a tendon in your shoulder no longer fully attaches to the head of your upper arm bone (humerus). This usually results from fraying over time that eventually causes a tear, but it can be caused by a fall or collision. If you are experiencing shoulder pain, you could have a rotator cuff tear and should see your doctor as soon as possible.
What are the symptoms of a rotator cuff tear?
Pain in your shoulder and upper arm is the top symptom of a rotator cuff tear. If you sustain a rotator cuff tear from a fall, then this pain will be intense and sudden. If your rotator cuff tear happens over time, the pain will gradually increase and can widely vary from no pain to severe.
Some movements can increase your pain or feel limited. These include:
- Reaching forward or overhead
- Turning your arm while lifting it
- Holding your arm out
- Combing your hair
- Putting on a jacket
You may also feel your tendons rubbing against the surrounding structures when you perform these movements.
A dull ache when trying to sleep or when lying on the affected shoulder, shoulder weakness, and a crackling sensation when moving could also indicate a rotator cuff tear.
What are the top risk factors of a rotator cuff tear?
- You experience natural wear and tear as you age, so you are at a greater risk for a rotator cuff tear if you are over 40.
- Repetitively using your shoulder can increase your risk of a rotator cuff tear due to overuse.
- Along the same lines, athletes that use their shoulders often, including tennis players and baseball pitchers, are prone to overuse.
- Also, certain careers, such as painting or carpentry, require you to reach overhead repetitively. This repeated movement increases your risk of rotator cuff tear.
- Falls onto your shoulder can also result in a rotator cuff tear.
Rotator Cuff Tear Treatment in Knoxville and Athens, TN
If you have a rotator cuff tear, then you can go to the ORTHOKnox orthopaedic clinics in Knoxville, Tennessee, or Athens, Tennessee, to discuss your treatment options. See our website and blog for more details on rotator cuff tear diagnosis and treatments. ORTHOKnox has a team of sports medicine specialists who can perform surgery or treat your tear conservatively with physical therapy.
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!