A rotator cuff injury affects your shoulder muscle. Rotator cuff injuries take one of three forms. The first is tendonitis, which is caused by overuse of the rotator cuff. It’s a repetitive stress injury. The second is bursitis, an inflammation of fluid-filled sacs that sit between your tendons and your shoulder bone. The third is a strain or tear in the muscle. Any of those injuries can lead to weakened shoulders and localized pain, and can even lead to a long-term disability.
NOTE: Dr. Jason Attaman is still seeing patients during the COVID-19 / Coronavirus pandemic. Contact our office in Bellevue if your appointment with another pain-management physician has been canceled, or if you have been unable to book an appointment. If you prefer to stay at home, you can book a telemedicine consultation with us. Here is more info on our status during the COVID-19 pandemic.
How do I know if I have damaged my rotator cuff?
Shoulder pain that keeps coming back or that prevents you from raising your arms is a sign you may have a rotator cuff injury. You may also find it difficult to sleep on the injured side of your body. Your arm may also grow weak.
Some patients feel creaking or cracking when they move their arms.
You shouldn’t try to guess as to whether you have a rotator cuff injury. An accurate diagnosis requires an X-ray or an MRI.
Will a rotator cuff injury heal on its own?
Sometimes you can heal a rotator cuff injury with rest, over-the-counter pain medication, and time. If the shoulder pain does not go away on its own then more aggressive treatment may be required. You may also try hot and/or cold therapy for additional relief.
You should call us if you experience a worsening of your symptoms, if your arm muscles are getting weaker, if you’ve lost an unacceptable range of motion, or if the pain is so great that it affects daily life.
What is the best treatment for a rotator cuff injury?
Some rotator cuff injuries need surgery, but others can be treated more conservatively. Often joint injections and nerve blocks can help put an end to the pain so you can heal and function. Some gentle, noninvasive chiropractic treatments can help relieve your pain.
At times we will suggest combining injections or nerve blocks with immobilization methods (like arm slings) to restrict movement, giving your body a chance to repair the damage without risking worsening the problem.
Book an appointment with our doctors to evaluate your rotator cuff and determine the best course of treatment
You don’t have to put up with the pain of a rotator cuff injury. Our doctors will help you find the least invasive, most effective treatment for your pain. Call our Bellevue office now to book an appointment.