Injuries happen to people on a daily basis. Often times we are fortunate enough to avoid them, but from time to time we will suffer from some sort of physical ailment. Whether it is the flu, a broken or fractured bone, a sprain, or mnemonia, there are always people experiencing something abnormal physically. One of the most important things to know whenever you are experiencing something like this is the ability to identify the symptoms, as well as knowing the proper next steps in becoming well again.
In this article we will look at the most common symptoms of an injury that we often see in the patients we treat; those symptoms would be that of a rotator cuff injury.
With something like a shoulder injury, there can be a variety of symptoms, but whenever someone specifically suffers an injury to their rotator cuff the most common symptoms are:
- Pain when at rest, especially at night and when laying on the injured shoulder
- Pain when lifting and/or lowering the arm in certain movements
- Weakness when lifting or rotating your arm
- Abnormal crackling sensations whenever you move your arm in certain ways
Now rotator cuff injuries can be suffered abruptly or the injury can happen gradually over time. For injuries that happen suddenly, such as from an instant jerking or a fall, the person will most likely experience immediate pain. The person might feel a snapping or popping sensation. This pain will be extreme and the injury will cause weakness.
An injury that is caused gradually due to overuse will cause increased soreness, stiffness, and weakness especially if the symptoms go untreated for an extended period of time. Early on the pain may be mild and it may gradually grow if the shoulder is continually overused. If still in the early stages, the pain can be treated with over the counter medication such as aspirin or ibuprofen.
Most of the time rotator cuff injuries are gradual, and because of this gradual increase in damage the pain may grow to a point where these over the counter medications will not be able to help with pain and discomfort. The damage will almost always continue unless steps are taken to decrease use of the shoulder or by creating new movement habits that do not engage the should in ways that are harmful to the rotator cuff.