Rotator Cuff (or Cup!) Injuries in Wichita, KS
Today we’re talking about the rotator cuff, or as some people like to call it, the rotator cup. But here's the deal: there's no cup, and it's four muscles that support our shoulder. Frequently, when we read about it in the newspaper, or you hear about an athlete that's been injured, you might think that the rotator cuff is one single thing. It's actually four things, four muscles. We have two muscles on the back side 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.
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. The unfortunate thing about this is that 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.
To identify if the rotator cuff is causing your shoulder pain, first we just 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. We can fix a whole lot of issues without having to do surgery, without having to use pain medications, or getting expensive imaging. 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'd be happy to chat with you about your particular problem and the uniqueness of your situation, and as always, we want to help you stay mobile, active, and off pain pills.
Until next time,
Cody Barnett PT
Orthopedic Physical Therapist,
Concussion Rehab Specialist