Are you experiencing shoulder pain?
While the shoulder is a complex joint and there could be a number of causes for your shoulder pain, it is still estimated that around 75% of shoulder pain can be identified as Rotator Cuff Syndrome.
What is Rotator Cuff Syndrome?
Your rotator cuff is a group of four small muscles that provide stability to the shoulder. Rotator cuff syndrome is usually prolonged damage to the rotator cuff muscles, tendons, and / or bursa.
Why does the rotator cuff tear?
Sudden acute tearing of a normal tendon occurs rarely. Most often, damage occurs gradually in a tendon that is already weakened. The cause of tearing is complex and there can be many contributing factors: history of trauma, history of heavy labour and repetitive overhead movements. Smoking, obesity, diabetes and elevated cholesterol can also be contributing factors.
Partial tears can and will develop into full thickness tears. Over time the full thickness tear will increase in size and the muscle/tendon will retract and waste. This is an irreversible process. It is important not to neglect rotator cuff tears.
Symptoms of RCS include pain lifting the hand above the head, loss of internal rotation and weakness. A partial tear can be more painful than a full thickness tear.
Treatment options include physiotherapy, cortisone injection and surgery.
What can you expect from physiotherapy?
When you meet with an NCCP physio, we will take a thorough history of your shoulder pain and then carry out a tailored physical assessment in order to reach a diagnosis.
We can then refer you for x-rays and ultrasound scans. An ultrasound is a non-invasive way to reveal a tear in the rotator cuff and can accurately measure the size of the tear.
We have built solid relationships with a number of specialists who we can refer you to should this be required. Together we can work out the best preparation and process for resolving your RCS pre- and post-operation to achieve and retain the best outcomes from surgery.
If surgery is not the best option we can develop ways with you to balance the shoulder rotator cuff using a combination of hands on treatment sessions and strengthening / stretching exercises for you to do either at home or at the gym.
We'd be happy to discuss these options with you in consultation.
Or Phone 02 9905 3500