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What Are the Symptoms of Rotator Cuff Injury?

What are the symptoms of rotator cuff injury? Although the symptoms are fairly consistent among most sufferers it is still important to be sure the injury you received is indeed the cause of any discomfort or weakness you may have in one of your arms. Since weakness in the shoulder or pain in the neck and chest area are not limited solely to the symptoms of rotator cuff injury it is of utmost importance to check with your medical professional if suffering from any of the following.

Neck and Shoulder Pain

This is a very important part of the symptoms of rotator cuff injury as most other serious illnesses that have similar symptoms do not include this one. Stiffness in the neck and shoulder can also be indicative of one of the symptoms of rotator cuff injury.

Weakness in Shoulder and Arm

If you have sustained an injury to this area the weakness in the shoulder or arm may not onset immediately. Often this can have a delayed reaction and while some of the other symptoms of rotator cuff injury may be easily ignored or covered up with pain medications, this one will not change until you are subjected to the important physical therapy required to heal from this type of injury.

Cracking or Popping Noises in the Shoulder

This is positively one of the symptoms of rotator cuff injury and should be treated immediately. Untreated rotator cuff injuries will not heal themselves and if a recently sustained injury has resulted in you suffering from these types of symptoms of rotator cuff injury then you should seek immediate medical advice from a professional.

What are the Symptoms of Torn Rotator Cuff Injuries?

The symptoms of torn rotator cuff injuries are fairly and commonly similar. They can include some or all of the following symptoms.

Shoulder Pain

Although this is the most common of the symptoms of torn rotator cuff injury, there are those who suffer little shoulder pain and experience pain in other areas instead.

Deltoid Muscle Pain

Some who are looking for the symptoms of torn rotator cuff injuries in themselves or a loved one may not realize their deltoid muscles can and commonly is the only painful symptom of this injury for some sufferers.

Weak Shoulder

If you suddenly find yourself unable to lift simple things such as glasses or a carton of milk, you may have an underlying rotator cuff injury that needs to be investigated.

Shoulder Clicking or Popping

If you are experiencing shoulder popping or clicking sounds you very well may be experiencing the full range of symptoms of torn rotator cuff injuries. Any injury that causes friction enough to create grinding, popping or clicking sounds needs to be treated as soon as is possible for the patient.

If ignored, the symptoms of torn rotator cuff injuries are unlikely to go away. In fact, they are highly likely to get worse until you address the issue. Treatment such as physical therapy may be the only way to fully recuperate from a rotator cuff injury. Be familiar with all symptoms of torn rotator cuff injuries if you suspect you or a loved one may be suffering from one.

Symptoms of a Torn Rotator Cuff

So what are the symptoms of a torn rotator cuff and are they similar to the symptoms of other illnesses I should be aware of? Fortunately, rotator cuff injuries follow a pretty steady pattern. Some of the things you can expect to experience as symptoms of a torn rotator cuff are as follows:

Popping or Grinding Sounds in the Shoulder

Grinding, cracking or popping noises in the cuff area of the shoulder are a sure sign you have sustained a shoulder injury. This particular variety of symptoms of a torn rotator cuff are very serious and will require a doctor’s care. Failure to seek the proper treatment when suffering from symptoms of a torn rotator cuff can and does often require painful surgery and long rehabilitation times.

Weakness and Stiffness in Effected Arm and Shoulder

This can be a delayed variety of the symptoms of a torn rotator cuff but is also imperative to have this type of injury treated.Left unchecked this weakness can actually increase to the point where holding a simple cup of coffee may be an impossible task.

Pain in the Shoulder or Arm

Of course pain is always a bad sign or one of the symptoms of a torn rotator cuff injury, and is the most common reason people normally do seek immediate attention for serious rotator cuff injuries. Always be sure to take any unusual pain or weaknesses in your body seriously and to a medical professional as soon as you are able to do so.

Rotator Cuff Damage

In the case of rotator cuff damage, a doctor’s exam and your symptoms may go further in figuring out what the problem is than tests like X-rays and MRI’s. Many times rotator cuff damage is difficult because X-Rays can look normal and small tears cannot always be seen even with imaging technology.

Pain and weakness are classic symptoms of rotator cuff damage, so is pain when dressing or doing something as simple as brushing your hair. If you have these symptoms it is likely that you will receive a diagnosis of rotator cuff damage from your doctor. When you first receive a rotator cuff damage diagnosis, your doctor may put the affected arm in a sling to rest your shoulder and recommend that you take NSAIDS or ibuprofen for the pain and inflammation.

Depending on the severity of the pain, he may prescribe a round of physical therapy or send you home with some exercises to strengthen the muscles in your shoulder. This is standard procedure with rotator cuff damage. Other conservative treatments that your doctor may prescribe if you have rotator cuff damage are hot or cold packs, ultrasound therapy and cortisone shots.

If you have received a rotator cuff damage diagnosis and the pain doesn’t improve after awhile your doctor may recommend surgery. With rotator cuff damage arthroscopic surgery is the less invasive procedure but an open procedure can sometimes be required. After the surgery is complete physical therapy is usually recommended to regain strength and range of motion in the shoulder and arm.

Rotator Cuff Problems

Symptoms of rotator cuff problems are pain and weakness when holding the arm up over the head or when stretching it out horizontally. Painful symptoms of rotator cuff problems may surface when dressing, sleeping, brushing hair, or any activity that involves moving the arm in an outward or upward motion.

Pinpointing the exact source of the symptoms of rotator cuff problems may be difficult but the weakness can be apparent to a doctor during the physical exam. X-rays may look normal and partial tears aren’t always visible to the eye even when using imaging technology such as MRI’s.

If the symptoms of rotator cuff problems point to the diagnosis, non-invasive treatments are normally prescribed before invasive treatments such as surgery are considered. The first treatment of rotator cuff problems tendon is usually applying hot or cold packs to the painful area and treatment with anti-inflammatory medications such as oral NSAIDS or ibuprofen. A sling may also be prescribed so the arm that is affected by the torn rotator cuff can rest.

In addition electrical stimulation of the muscles and nerves, ultrasound, and steroid injections may be recommended for the treatment of a torn radiator cuff. If these non-invasive treatments are not successful at alleviating the

symptoms of rotator cuff problems, arthroscopic surgery or an open repair of the rotator cuff tear may be pursued. After arthroscopic or open surgery is performed extensive physical therapy may be required to regain strength and normal range of movement.