You don’t have to live with shoulder pain

Rick Jusko, PT,, will design a program of exercises and activity modification tailored to your injury and your personal lifestyle. (Illustration used under license © Can Stock Photo Inc., 2011

You probably know someone who has had a rotator cuff injury. It is one of the most common causes of shoulder pain, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. How do you know if you have a rotator cuff injury? Here are some signs to watch for:

  • Shoulder pain
  • Difficulty raising the arms above the shoulders
  • A dull ache in the upper arm that increases with movement

The rotator cuff consists of the muscles and tendons of the shoulders. It includes four muscles: the supraspinatus, infraspinatus, teres minor, and subscapularis, and the tendons that connect these muscles  along with three bones. These include the shoulder blade, or scapula, the upper arm bone or humerus, and the collarbone or clavicle.

Rick Jusko, PT, OCS, owner/director of Seattle Hill Physical Therapy says rotator cuff injuries can result from age-related wear and tear, a single injury event, such as a fall. Overuse injuries can occur with sports such as golf, basketball, baseball, tennis, weightlifting, or from work activities that involve raising the arms above the head.

Treatment may require surgery for serious injuries involving a complete or severe tear, or non-surgical treatment. In either case, Jusko, can work with you to design a program of exercises and activity modification tailored both to your injury and your personal lifestyle. The goal is to increase the range of pain-free motion, and to strengthen the uninjured muscles to compensate for injured tendons.

Following the rehabilitation plan Jusko recommends will help you return to full function sooner. And a maintenance regimen that fits your lifestyle will help prevent further injury in the future.

For more information about rotator cuff injuries visit American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons: Rotator Cuff Tears.

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