The rotator cuff refers to a group of muscles and tendons that keep the head of the humerus in place in the shoulder socket.
The rotator cuff refers to a group of muscles and tendons that keep the head of the humerus in place in the shoulder socket. It is also responsible for stability and mobility of the shoulder, allowing you to lift and rotate your arms.
The rotator cuff is susceptible to overuse or traumatic injury, with the most common problems being tears and tendinopathy.
Rotator cuff tendinopathy causes irritation to the tendons and muscles around the shoulder joint. This usually develops gradually and worsens if left untreated.
Rotator cuff tears typically result from tendon overuse or injury. It can be classified into partial or complete depending on the severity of the tendon tear.
Your doctor will diagnose a rotator cuff problem through a physical examination, where you will be asked to perform a set of arm and shoulder movements to determine the location and severity of pain. Imaging tests such as X-ray, Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and ultrasound may also be conducted.
Depending on the severity of the rotator cuff problem, treatment can range from conservative management to surgical means.
Physiotherapy exercises are done to improve mobility and stability of the shoulder as well as reduce pain.
Corticosteroid injections may be recommended to reduce inflammation and pain. However, the effects are temporary.
In severe cases such as a complete tendon tear, shoulder surgery may be recommended.
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