It is one of the most complex body parts. And therefore, more to injury. Dr Lt Col Sonu Singh, Rehab & Physical Medicine Specialist, and an expert at Pain Management, tells us about ways injuries can be avoided and what to do in case we do harm it.
The shoulder joint complex (and its connective muscles, tendons and ligaments) has a greater range of motion than any other joints. Together it is called the Rotator Cuff. According to Dr Lt Col Sonu Singh, Physiatrist specializing in sports injuries, at Rehab For You, Pain Management Center near me in Delhi, it allows your arm to move in every direction, do circles in a windmill fashion, and rotate your arm from palm up to palm down. No other joint in our body allows such complex and such a vast range of movements.
However, thepeculiar anatomical structure that allows high flexibility also makes the shoulder joint somewhat more susceptible to injuries. The group of muscles and connective tissue that facilitate this movement is called the rotator cuff. The four muscles of the rotator cuff are:
• Teres minor
These muscles and other supporting structures control the shoulder girdle and all its movements. Injuries can occur when muscles are strained, torn, or inflammation occurs in the joint because of damage.
Common symptoms of a rotator cuff tear include:
• Pain that moves from the shoulder down the arm to the deltoid muscle
• Night pain
• Pain with activities, particularly overhead lifting or lifting weights
• Pseudo-paralysis (not being able to lift the arm)
Tears can be degenerative or traumatic, or a traumatic tear can occur through an area of degeneration or thinning. In most of the cases, repeated low grade wear-and-tear is responsible for rotator cuff injury.
Weight lifting or training injuries to the shoulder joint complex can occur. Exercises that placeexcessively high stress on the rotator cuff muscles should probably be avoided or at least performed with lighter weights. If you know your shoulder is susceptible to injury, or if an injury is already present, then due care must be taken while performing these exercises:
• Bench press – Especially if done with an excessive range of motion. Don’t lower the elbows below parallel (to the floor); pretend you’re on a flat surface.
• Lateral raise – Lifting weights (dumbbells, kettlebells) to the side
• Anterior raise – Lifting weights to the front
• Overhead press
Rotator cuff injuries are common in occupational, recreational and sports activities. You don’t have to guess too much; pain and restricted movement usually let you know you have a shoulder injury. Here is what you should do:
• Get a diagnosis and treatment advice from an experienced physiatrist near me.
• A physician can often diagnose a rotator cuff injury with a thorough physical examination. Advanced imaging such as an MRI scan or ultrasound can usually confirm the extent of the tear and aid in planning for management.
• Be patient. Often, rotator cuff injuries can take many months to recover even when managed correctly.
• In cases with incomplete tears, Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) therapy is a good option to promote healing and reduce pain in shoulder pain relief.
• In the short term, physical therapy helps about 75 per cent of individuals symptomatically improve.
• Rotator cuff muscles often atrophy when their tendon is torn, and this atrophy generally does not reverse, so full-thickness tears often require surgical repair.