Shoulder Pain Sufferers: Let’s Talk Rotator Cuff Tears

What is calcific tendonitis

What is calcific tendonitisLet’s Talk Rotator Cuff Tears

So, you’ve been dealing with some serious shoulder pain, huh? It’s a common tale, especially when it comes to those pesky rotator cuff tears. They’re like little troublemakers in your shoulder, causing all sorts of discomfort and making it feel like your arm is on strike. But guess what? There’s more to the story than just injections or surgery. Yep, you heard me right – there’s a whole bunch you can do to help yourself out.

Meet the Rotator Cuff: Your Shoulder’s BFF

Alright, let’s start with the basics. The rotator cuff isn’t some superhero squad, but it’s pretty close when it comes to keeping your shoulder in tip-top shape. It’s made up of four muscles that wrap around the joint like a cozy blanket: supraspinatus, infraspinatus, subscapularis, and teres minor. Think of them as the guardians of your shoulder, working together to keep everything stable and moving smoothly.


A closer look at shoulder and rotator cuff anatomy

shoulder rotator cuff | Arana Hills Physiotherapy

Now, when we talk about the rotator cuff, it’s easy to imagine these muscles as separate entities, like little ropes connecting muscles to bones.

But here’s the thing – they’re more like a patchwork quilt, all blending together to form a protective layer around the joint. So, even if you’ve got a tear in one part of the cuff, there’s still plenty of backup muscle to pick up the slack. It’s kind of like having a hole in your favorite blanket – not ideal, but definitely not the end of the world!

Types of Rotator cuff Tears: What You Need to Know

So, not all tears are created equal. There are a few things to consider when it comes to rotator cuff tears:

  • How did the tear happen? Was it a sudden injury, or did it sneak up on you over time?
  • How big is the tear? Is it just a little nick, or a full-blown rip?
  • Where is the tear located? Turns out, where it’s torn can make a big difference in how your shoulder functions.

To Fix or Not to Fix: The Rotator cuff Surgery Question

Ah, the million-dollar question: do you need surgery to fix your tear? Well, it depends. As a rough guide the following may apply;

  • For smaller tears, or larger full thickness ones that develop over time, a physiotherapy and exercise approach can work wonders. Plus, studies have shown that exercise-based treatments can reduce the need for surgery by up to 75%. Not too shabby, right? check out our next blog on exercises for shoulder pain
  • For large full thickness tears in under 60 years old, especially if they’re caused by a sudden injury, surgery might be the way to go.
  • For those that have not a had a good result with rehab and still getting trouble , surgery may be the option. for you.

What’s Next for Your Shoulder and rotator cuff ?

guide to shoulder pain | Arana Hills Physiotherapy

So, where do you go from here? First things first, get yourself a proper diagnosis. Figure out what kind of tear you’re dealing with and how it’s impacting your day-to-day life. Then, chat with your physio about your options.

Maybe surgery is the best route for you, or maybe you can tackle it with some good  strength based rehab.

Either way, be prepared to put in the time and effort – healing takes time, but with the right approach, you’ll be back in action before you know it.




Final Thoughts on the rotator cuff from Dave

Alright, folks, that’s the lowdown on rotator cuff tears. Remember, you’re not alone in this – there’s a whole team of physios and experts ready to help you get back to doing what you love. Check out the next blog on exercises for shoulder pain  

So don’t hesitate to reach out if you need a hand (or a shoulder, in this case). Until then, keep moving, stay positive, and here’s to a happy, healthy shoulder!

Cheers, Dave