A very common question I hear is “How did I tear my rotator cuff?” From my experience, after doing a thorough examination and assessment on a patient, I find there are 3 common reasons. After reading these, if you think you’ve been having shoulder pain because of one of the reasons, feel free to call our office for more information:
The first, and most common, is quite simple. Repetitive use or injury. If you did something extreme with your shoulder, and felt a stabbing pain at the top of your shoulder during the activity, then there’s a high chance that this is the instance in which you injured your rotator cuff. Sometimes people do a particular activity very frequently which causes overuse of the rotator cuff. Our bodies are not machines, and if we overuse a particular muscle, we are likely to cause injury. The injury may start small, like a tendinitis, but then advance to more serious damage.
The second most common reason, at least from what I experience, is people are progressively injuring their rotator cuff by having poor posture. While many people here in Midtown Manhattan have jobs that require them to sit behind a desk for 8+ hours, it is very common for people to develop slouched posture. This can actually cause the rotator cuff to weaken and strain, but it can also lead to something called Subacromial Impingement. You may have heard of it.
The third reason for rotator cuff injury is that people often put their shoulder and arm in bad positions while they sleep and cause damage to their rotator cuff. For example, some people sleep on their stomach with their arms up as though they are raising their arms….. this position can cause compromise to the rotator cuff and can lead to progressive damage.
People with rotator cuff tears respond extremely well to physical therapy. If any of the above information sounds familiar to you, call our office for more information (646) 455-1312. If you call us prior to February 14th, 2018 and mention this article, we can offer you a 20 minute shoulder screen for FREE to better help you understand the cause of your pain, and what successful treatment looks like without undergoing surgery, taking medication, or getting injections.