Each year approximately 250,000 Americans get rotator cuff surgery. The rotator cuff is a network of 4 muscles that support your arm and shoulder. A torn rotator cuff is most commonly caused by an acute injury or natural degeneration and can result in severe pain and disability without proper treatment. Fortunately, only 50% of rotator cuff injuries require surgery. Read the following guide to answer some of the most frequently asked questions about rotator cuff injuries.

What Are the Common Causes of Rotator Cuff Injuries?

The following are the 2 most common causes of rotator cuff injuries:

  • Injuries: Lifting a heavy object with a jerking motion or falling down on an outstretched arm can tear the rotator cuff. Tears can also be caused by other types of shoulder injuries such as a dislocated shoulder or a broken collarbone.
  • Degeneration: Rotator cuff tears can develop over time from gradual degeneration. This type of injury is often the result of repetitive motions common in sports or employment, insufficient blood supply, or bone spurs.

What Are the Symptoms of a Rotator Cuff Injury?

The following are some of the most common symptoms of a rotator cuff injury:

  • Pain when lifting or lowering the arm in specific directions
  • Pain at rest and at night
  • Weakness when rotating or lifting the affected arm
  • Cracking or popping sounds when moving the affected shoulder

What Are the Treatment Options for a Rotator Cuff Injury?

It is important to consult a physician or chiropractor in San Diego for any type of acute or chronic shoulder pain. Early treatment can help prevent a rotator cuff tear from becoming larger over time, reduce pain, and restore function. Depending upon the type and severity of the injury, a variety of nonsurgical or surgical treatment options may be recommended. The following are some of the most common treatment options for rotator cuff injuries:

  • Rest and protective care
  • Activity modification
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications
  • Physical therapy
  • Electrical stimulation of muscles and nerves
  • Ultrasound
  • Steroid injections
  • Surgery