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Last Updated: Jan 10, 2023

Rotator Cuff Injury - How To Treat It?

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Dr. Varun ShanbhagPhysiotherapist • 13 Years Exp.BPTh/BPT, Bachelor In TCM, DTCM


I am Dr. Varun Shanbhag, Physiotherapist. Today I will talk about rotator cuff injury. This is the common injury most commonly found in the people who are going to the gym, fall on the hand, those who have done a heavy lifting activity. You also need to understand what exactly is it? The rotator cuff is actually a synchronization of 4 muscles group which work and make your shoulder move in a much better manner. If this gets affected, your all other activities like dressing, self-care activities get affected. So, you make sure that this care is taken care in a very prompt manner. So, first, we need to diagnose at what level the injury is? Is it a grade1, 2 or 3? The grade depends upon the tear which has taken place. So, w have to do MRI or scans. You also have to see the causative factors of injury. Most of the patients are coming from a sports background. So, we need to design a protocol so that their return to sports is taking the least amount of time. We always make sure that this care happens in a very conservative manner. We do not go very enthusiastically and fast to get better recovery.

So, in such cases what you have to do is to understand that whenever a rotator cuff patient comes, we need to see the signs and the symptoms. The basic sign is pain around the shoulder area. Sleeping on the side would be painful, overhead activities would be painful, lifting, dressing, taking a bath would be painful because shoulder works in every single activity. So, in such situations, first, you go for a diagnosis and make sure you access yourself properly. This problem can cause frozen shoulder if not treated properly. So, you also have to learn the difference between the rotator cuff and frozen shoulder. Once it is done, we see how to manage this kind of pain. Initially, there are painkillers which are given. We also ask the patient to start with ice therapy. Once your pain levels are down, you have to start exercising for those particular areas. In those cases, you have to take care of the pre-existing stiffnesses in that particular area.

You also have to see that tissues do not hamper and take the help of the physiotherapist and in major pain, we can give the medicines, current therapy and also laser can be given in the same way. Once that is done, we have to go for a subsequent line which has to do with the rehabilitation, strengthening, and mobility. In rehabilitation, the strengthening part comes for the entire shoulder. Because your shoulder movement is the most important movement for your hand to work-out. So, shoulder movement has to be done in a very precise manner. Starting from the muscles strengthening, rotator cuff strengthening, small weight approaches and then you work in a different manner.

Now, last is the activity phase, whichever activity you are in tendon doing, you have to ensure that activity takes place in a very optimal manner. So, you have to make the person ready for approach. this involves a lot of 3-dimensional movements, range movements, and mobility movements. Once these 3 approaches are taken care of, you ensure that the pain does not last too long. So, rotator cuff pain will last only when you will not diagnose it properly. So, you have to take care of that pain and you have to give time to yourself so that the pain and the procedure of rehabilitation take place properly and in a convenient manner without causing too much pain. So, this is all about rotator cuff rehabilitation. For further information, you can contact me through Lybrate.

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