Rotator cuff injuries can often be treated WITHOUT surgery
Rotator Cuff (or Cup!) Injuries in Wichita, KS
Today we’re talking about rotator cuff injuries, or as some people like to call it, the rotator cup. But here's the deal: there's no cup. The rotator cuff is actually four muscles that support our shoulder.
Frequently, when you hear about an athlete that's been injured, you might think that the rotator cuff is one single thing. It's really four things, four muscles. We have two muscles on the backside of the shoulder, one muscle that sits over the top and then one muscle that sits across the front. Those muscles come out onto the bone and form the rotator cuff. So, when we say we have a rotator cuff tear, you could have a tear in any one of those four muscles. To see a graphic of this, click here.
How common are Rotator Cuff injuries? Do I need surgery for a rotator cuff injury?
Here's the interesting thing: By the time we're age 65, statistically about 40% to 50% of us will have some degeneration or even some tearing in one of those muscles. (But that doesn't mean a person necessarily needs surgery!)
It's an aging thing. It's like gray hair, bad eyesight, or losing our hearing. Over time, we just get some wear and tear in those muscles, and a lot of people live with it their whole life and don't even know it's there -- until it rears its ugly head.
The good news is that for many, learning and doing the appropriate exercises can prevent having to go through a painful rotator cuff repair surgery!
Here's a quick video discussing the rotator cuff:
What are the next steps if you think you might have a rotator cuff injury in Wichita, KS
To identify if the rotator cuff is causing your shoulder pain, first we first need to do a really good, thorough physical exam. With a physical exam, we can nail down a lot of things that are going wrong with the shoulder and identify the issue. There are a lot of conditions that can be taken care of with a little manual therapy and the appropriate strengthening. Sometimes we just need to correct postural positioning. Sometimes a little 830 nm cold laser or dry needling is indicated. And sometimes the pain might actually be referred from the neck.
Can you fix rotator cuff injuries without surgery?
We can fix many shoulder pain issues without having to do surgery, without having to use pain medications, or getting expensive imaging. (and if we think you need further imaging, or surgery is indeed indicated, we will let you know!) I have a podcast on this I did with a local Wichita, KS radio station if you want to check it out here.
If you have any further questions about this, feel free to give us a buzz at 316-558-8808 or fill out this contact form here. We specialize in helping people from Wichita (as well as Derby, Andover, Maize, and Goddard) who are suffering with shoulder and rotator cuff pain. Last year alone, we had clients visit us from 9 different states! We even offer virtual video visits for those outside of Wichita or those with Covid concerns.
We'd be happy to have a no-obligation phone, video, or in person chat with you about your particular problem and the uniqueness of your shoulder problem. As always, we want to help you stay mobile, active, and off pain pills.
Until next time,
Cody Barnett PT
Orthopedic Physical Therapist, Shoulder Specialist