Aches and pains in the shoulder can often be indicative of injury to the rotator cuff. But what is the rotator cuff? The rotator cuff keeps your upper arm bone in the shoulder’s socket. It is not a single muscle but rather a group of muscles and tendons surrounding the shoulder joint. Many shoulder injuries and issues are directly related to rotator cuff problems.
Common Shoulder Injuries
According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, approximately 7.5 million people visited the doctor for shoulder issues, including shoulder and upper arm sprains and strains. Of these doctor’s visits, 4.1 million were for rotator cuff problems making them the most common problem encountered. The majority of the rest are usually in one of two categories: impingement or instability.
- Impingement is the rubbing of the shoulder muscles against the top part of the shoulder blade.
- Instability is where one of the shoulder joints has moved out of its normal position, resulting in eventual dislocation.
If you are suffering from a shoulder injury such as tendonitis or rotator cuff damage, call the team at East Bay Chiropractic Wellness P.C. today at (516) 679-2225 for an appointment.
Causes of Shoulder Injuries
A variety of factors can influence your likelihood of suffering shoulder injuries. Some of the more prominent ones include the following:
- Athletic activities are the ones that first spring to mind for most people. This is particularly true of sports like swimming, tennis, and weightlifting that involve excessive, repetitive, overhead motion.
- The older you are, the higher your risk of a rotator cuff injury. (People older than 60 suffer the most common instances of rotator cuff tears.)
- Livelihood also plays into it. Jobs such as carpentry or house painting require repetitive arm motions, often overhead, damaging the rotator cuff over time.
- If there are such injuries in your family history, it would be wise to watch for symptoms yourself. It is believed that there may be a genetic component.
Rotator Cuff Injury and Disease Symptoms
Rotator cuff issues are usually painful, presenting as a dull and aching pain deep in the shoulder. Signs that this pain may be a rotator cuff issue include:
- Pain so intense it disturbs your sleep
- Difficulty in extension or range of motion such as combing your hair or reaching behind your back
- Accompanying arm weakness
Treating Shoulder Injuries with Graston Technique® Therapy
At East Bay Chiropractic Wellness P.C., Dr. Marmorale often incorporates Graston Technique® (GT) therapy to his treatment plan for shoulder and, specifically, rotator cuff injuries. GT decreases treatment time, reduces the need for pain and anti-inflammatory medications, and enhances rehabilitation. In some cases, it can even help a patient avoid surgery.
Benefits of Graston Technique® Therapy for Shoulder Injuries
- Reduce the stress and strain in the injured areas
- Decrease inflammation
- Increase muscle flexibility and strength
- Increase blood flow
- Break up scar tissue
- Promote proper tissue repair
- Enhance functional movements
Dr. Marmorale may also suggest some exercises you can do from home to limit further scar tissue formation, aid proper healing, and speed up recovery time. Braces and other supports may be recommended for specific shoulder injuries.
When to See a Doctor
If you experience any of these symptoms, see a doctor right away:
- Shoulder pain without a known or apparent injury
- Severe pain in the shoulder
- Problems moving your shoulder
- Inability or limitations to using your arm
- Abnormal sensations or numbness in your arm, hand, or fingers
Make an Appointment at East Bay to Relieve Shoulder Pain
If you suffer from shoulder pain, call the caring professionals at East Bay Chiropractic Wellness P.C. today at (516) 679-2225 to schedule an appointment. We can treat your shoulder using several different modalities including the Graston Technique® to speed healing and help you get back to your usual active lifestyle.
Useful Info and Health Tips
These self-care suggestions may help you gain at least temporary relief from your symptoms:
- Rest and avoid activities that aggravate your shoulder.
- Apply heat for 20-minute intervals and, if desired, alternate with ice or a cold pack.
- Unless directed by your doctor, don’t wear a sling. Keep your arm free to move. Just be careful not to overdo it.
- Don’t strain when reaching for something. Use a step stool or ask for help.