Understanding rotator cuff injuries, treatment options

By Katherine Crocker | Jul 24, 2014

You’ve injured your rotator cuff. What are your options?

A rotator cuff injury is a common injury and can be from gradual wear and tear from everyday activities; they are not always from sports injuries.

So what exactly is a rotator cuff? According to www.orthoinfo.org, your shoulder is made up of three bones: your upper arm bone the humerus; shoulder blade, the scapula; and collarbone, the clavicle. The shoulder is a ball-and-socket joint; the ball, or head of your upper arm bone, fits into a shallow socket in your shoulder blade. Your arm is kept in your shoulder socket by your rotator cuff. The rotator cuff is a network of four muscles that come together as tensions to form a covering around the head of the humerus. The rotator cuff attaches the humerus to the shoulder blade and helps to lift and rotate your arm.

“If you are experiencing shoulder pain and weakness, that is when you would consult your doctor.” said Dr. Ben Debelak. “Not all rotator cuff injuries are sports related; in fact 50 percent of the cases I see here in Haywood County are from everyday wear and tear.”

Risk factors include age, activity, and previous injury or trauma to the area.

So what can you do to treat a rotator cuff injury?

Surgery is not always the best answer; every case if different and your doctor will let you know if physical therapy or surgery is your best option.

To learn more on rotator cuff tears, as well as an in-depth discussion on treatment options, there will be a free seminar led by Dr. Debelak from 6 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, July 29, at the MedWest Haywood Health and Fitness Center.

Those interested in attending may register by calling 452-8883 or by visiting www.medwestyhaywood.org/seminar.

Katherine Crocker is the marketing coordinator at MedWest Haywood.

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