Treat your RCT tear right

Treat your RCT tear right

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The rotator cuff is a group of four tendons and muscles that converge around the shoulder joint at the top of the humerus and the bone of the upper arm. While your shoulder is one of your most mobile joints, it’s also somewhat weak. Too much stress, or strenuous exercise can cause partial tears and swelling in the tendons of the rotator cuff.
Abrupt stress may even cause one of the tendons to tear away from the bone, or tear in the middle of the tendon.
A rotator cuff tear is a common cause of pain and disability among adults and can severely weaken your shoulder. This means daily activities like combing your hair or getting dressed, may become painful and difficult to do.

Types of RCT’s include

  • Acute Tears.
    If you fall down on your outstretched arm or lift something too heavy with a jerking motion, you can easily tear your rotator cuff. This type of tear can occur with other shoulder injuries, like a broken collarbone or a dislocated shoulder.
  • Degenerative Tear.
    Most tears are the result of wearing down the tendon. This degeneration occurs naturally as we age.

Symptoms of a RCT include

  • Pain while resting or lying down, especially if lying on the affected shoulder.
  • Pain when lifting and lowering your arm or when performing certain movements.
  • Weakness when lifting or rotating your arm.
  • A crackling sensation when moving your shoulder in certain positions.

How to treat your RCT
If you have a rotator cuff tear and keep using your injured arm despite the increasing pain, you may be causing further damage as a rotator cuff tear can get larger over time.
There are several treatment options for a RCT, and it differs from person to person. Your treatment depends on your age, activity level, general health and the type of tear you have.
Since surgical methods have not shown evidence of better results, many doctors first recommend nonsurgical management of RCT’s.

  • Non-Surgical Method
    – Rest
    – Activity modification
    -Non Steroidal anti-inflammatory medication
    -Strengthening exercised and physical therapy
    -Steroid injections.

  • Surgical Method
    In the event that your pain persists, despite having gone for non surgical treatment, here are some other factors you should take into consideration if you want to avail of the surgical method of treatment.
    – Your symptoms have lasted 6 to 12 months
    – Your tear is longer than 3 cm
    – You experience significant weakness and loss of function in your shoulder
    – Your tear was caused by a recent, acute injury.

The best ways to prevent RCT’s are by keeping your shoulder muscles strong though the right amount of exercise. If you are affected by it, seek physical therapy. This is a medical issue that can be solved without getting surgery.