What is actually hurting in my shoulder?
There are two main parts that keep your shoulder stable and also are prone to injury. The rotator cuff is a group of muscles and tendons that surround your shoulder and keeps your joint intact. It’s essential for the movement of your shoulder joint and makes it possible to raise, lower, and rotate your arm.
The labrum is the cartilage lining of the shoulder joint that also provides stability.
What are the symptoms of a shoulder injury?
Your rotator cuff or labrum can be damaged or torn during a fall or other trauma and the symptoms will be immediate pain and weakness in the arm. Most rotator cuff and labrum injuries develop over time and often cause:
- A dull, aching pain in the affected shoulder that occurs even at rest and may worsen with lying on the shoulder as you sleep
- Pain when you lift or lower your arm, which can occur even with simple activities, such as combing your hair or getting dressed
- A sensation of weakness when you try to lift or rotate your arm
- Pain or catching when you lift or lower your arm, which can occur even with simple activities, such as combing your hair or getting dressed
Be body aware and call the Restore team if you are experiencing any of these symptoms.
What causes rotator cuff and labrum injuries?
Acute, sudden injuries occur when tendons in your rotator cuff or labrum are stressed beyond their limit. This causes the tissue to tear. The tear may be partial, which damages but does not completely sever the tendon. A complete or full-thickness tear detaches the tendon from the bone.
Damage can also occur as part of a wear-and-tear type of degeneration over time that causes the tissues of your rotator cuff or labrum to fray and weakens as you age. This may eventually lead to a partial or full-thickness tear in a tendon. It’s often related to activities that require repetitive shoulder motions, such as:
- Baseball, tennis, weightlifting, and other sports activities that engage your shoulder joints
- Work responsibilities that require repeated use of your shoulders, such as painting or carpentry
What is the treatment for rotator cuff and labrum injuries?
Treatment depends on the nature and scope of your shoulder injury. The Restore team will build a program individualized to your needs. This may include:
- Guided physical therapy exercise to improve flexibility and strengthen the muscles surrounding your shoulder joints
- Regenerative therapy with injections that may include your own stem cells, platelet-rich plasma (PRP), and other natural substances that promote and enhance the healing of damaged tissue
- Minimally invasive surgery (arthroscopy), along with regenerative sports medicine techniques designed to repair tendon damage and restore mobility