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Rotator cuff physical therapy: 3 signs that it’s time to seek treatment



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Rotator cuff physical therapy: 3 signs that it’s time to seek treatment

Do you have an injury to your rotator cuff that just isn’t getting better on its own? Do you have an injury in your shoulder but you’re not certain that it’s a rotator cuff issue? We’ll address what some of the common symptoms and causes of this injury are as well as when it’s time for you to seek help at physical therapy.

For starters, rotator cuff injuries are relatively common. Research shows that they occur at a rate of about 22%, but this rate gets higher with age. They’re also more likely to occur in the arm you use the most. If you’re an older adult, someone who plays sports, or you have a job that requires a lot of heavy lifting, you’re likely at a higher risk of developing this injury. 

What are some of the most common symptoms of rotator cuff injuries?

There are three types of rotator cuff injuries: tendinitis, bursitis and rotator cuff tears. The symptoms of each specific type of rotator cuff injury may vary depending on the injury, but there’s still a general set of symptoms that characterize this condition.

The symptoms most often include pain, decreased strength, unusual noises and limited range of motion. The pain usually stays in the area of the rotator cuff and can be felt when lying on the affected shoulder or lifting the arm or shoulder. Not everyone experiences pain, however. For someone with this injury, it may become hard to pick up certain objects. Items that were once easy to grab may feel heavy or cause pain as a result of decreased shoulder strength. It’s also common for people to hear clicking or popping noises in their affected shoulder when they have a rotator cuff injury. Another symptom is limited movement. The pain or discomfort from this injury may lead to a limited range of motion in the arm.

What are some of the most common causes of rotator cuff injuries in athletes?

Rotator cuff injuries have various causes. These are just some of the most commonly seen in athletes: 

  • Traumatic injury — One of the most common causes of a rotator cuff injury to an athlete is a traumatic injury. Traumatic injuries are usually the result of a hard fall or hit. They’re common in contact and overhead sports. 
  • Repetitive overuse — Another common cause of rotator cuff injuries that would benefit from sports physical therapy is repetitive overuse. Repetitive overuse can look like using the shoulder to perform the same movements several times a day each day. Repetitive overuse is typically seen in people who play overhead sports and people who have jobs that require heavy lifting or lifting above their heads each day.

These causes often require visits to a sports physical therapist for treatment. A PT clinic that specializes in sports can provide effective treatment for athletes with rotator cuff injuries and many other types of injuries. 

How do you know when it’s time to seek sports PT treatment for a rotator cuff injury?

There are a few different circumstances that might warrant a trip to a sports PT provider. If you have a rotator cuff injury that causes you to experience any of the following, it’s time to seek treatment:

  • You can’t do your regular activities — If your shoulder pain or discomfort is preventing you from doing the activities you regularly perform, it’s time to seek treatment. A rotator cuff injury that interferes with your daily activities is one that needs some attention from a physical therapist. 
  • You’re having trouble sleeping — If you can’t get a full night’s sleep because of your shoulder pain and discomfort, you’d benefit from consulting with a sports PT specialist. Physical therapists can help alleviate some of your pain so that you can get better sleep and recover faster. 
  • Your arm feels weak — When a rotator cuff injury causes your arm to feel weak enough to the point where you can’t lift things you normally can, it’s in your best interest to visit a PT provider. A physical therapist can help you recover strength in your arm and start to recover.

REPAIR SI has experienced sports physical therapists who can treat your rotator cuff injury 

Our team at REPAIR SI aims to provide you with a level of high-quality treatment that can’t be found anywhere else. Our range of services includes physical therapy, chiropractic care, acupuncture and fitness training. Your best physical, mental and spiritual life can be attained when you visit us for your care. We emphasize whole-body treatment, which means your care isn’t limited to just one problem area. Your overall wellness is the most important to us. That’s why we’ve partnered with our community to provide you with the innovative care and quality resources that you need to address your health and wellness. 

Each of our team members is committed to serving our community in a compassionate, professional manner to ensure the best possible outcomes. Whatever your reason for visiting us may be, you can feel confident that you’re getting high-quality care.

If your rotator cuff injury is causing you persistent pain or discomfort, it’s time to consider sports PT for treatment. Our PT specialists can help you get on the path toward recovery. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us with any questions. We’d love to hear from you.

Contact our team today for more information or to schedule an initial appointment.