The rotator cuff is a group of four small muscles in the shoulder. Their primary job is to stabilize the upper arm in it's socket. "Tears" in the rotator cuff can be just small lesions in the muscle that are associated with minor muscle strains or even be complete tears when the muscle is "ripped" apart like a full thickness tear. The supraspinatus muscle on the top of the shoulder is more likely to suffer a full thickness tear that the other three rotator cuff muscles. There are many options for treatment ranging from physical therapy, acupuncture, massage therapy, corrective exercise, surgery and a combination of all the above and more. The good news is is that the rehabilitation community is getting better at rehabilitating these injuries without surgery and surgical interventions are becoming more precise and more effective.
1 AnswerAMichael Roizen, MD, Internal Medicine, answeredA rotator cuff injury is one of the most common shoulder injuries, and while it often strikes athletes who play sports that require throwing motions, this type of injury doesn't exclusively plague big-league pitchers. A rotator cuff injury is usually a strain or tear of the muscles or tendons around those shoulder bones. Diagnosis comes from a physical examination-no, the doc isn't just trying to see if you're tough-confirmed by MRI, and the treatment is similar to that of a meniscus tear in the knee (anti-inflammatory medication, icing, rehabilitation, surgery as a last resort).
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