Your shoulder is a complex joint that needs to rotate in multiple directions to give you your full range of motion in your arms and torso. Your rotator cuff, a group of four tendons that form a crucial part of your shoulder joint, is largely responsible for your shoulder’s range of motion.
Because of the multidirectional forces acting on your rotator cuff, it’s a common location to experience injuries, either as a result of a single trauma or gradually over time due to repetitive stress. Overhead activity, as in sports like baseball, and heavy lifting are both common culprits for irritating your shoulder tendons and causing a rotator cuff tear or strain.
Dr. Bruce Prager and his team of orthopedic surgery and sports medicine experts at the Orthopedic Center of Arlington can diagnose your rotator cuff issues and get your shoulder joint back to optimum strength and health.
Here are some of the most common signs of rotator cuff tears that Dr. Prager wants his new and existing patients from around the Arlington, Texas, area to keep in mind.
1. Dull aches in your shoulder
Rotator cuff injuries tend to come with dull, persistent pain. You may notice a localized ache felt deep in your shoulder joint.
The pain associated with a rotator cuff tear can keep you awake at night, not abating with rest or inactivity. If you notice shoulder pain disrupting your sleep, it might be time to get checked out by the professionals at the Orthopedic Center of Arlington for shoulder joint and rotator cuff problems.
2. Shoulder joint “crackling”
A wholly or partially torn rotator cuff can also give off a “crackling” sensation when your shoulder shifts into certain positions due to damage in the cuff’s tendons.
3. Accompanying arm weakness
A torn rotator cuff also impedes your shoulder function. The rotator cuff attaches your upper arm bone to your shoulder blade and helps your shoulder joint move with stability.
You may experience a sense of weakness in the affected arm due to damage to your shoulder joint. If your arm weakness starts immediately after an injury, you should see a medical professional right away for evaluation and treatment.
4. Loss of range of motion
When your rotator cuff is torn or damaged, you stop being able to turn your shoulder joint to reach behind your back easily. Things like brushing your hair or tying a tie behind your neck become difficult or impossible.
Rotator cuff injuries may not get better without treatment. Your shoulder joint can continue to progressively deteriorate over time after a rotator cuff tear. Permanent loss of range of motion or arm weakness are both possible.
Dr. Prager and the Orthopedic Center of Arlington team can recommend the right treatment plan for you. You might need rest, physical therapy, or surgery to address a severe rotator cuff injury.
To get your shoulder pain and arm weakness evaluated by our team of experts and determine if you could be dealing with a rotator cuff tear, contact the Orthopedic Center of Arlington today. You can schedule your initial consultation appointment over the phone or book online now.