Five Steps to Take When Living with Rotator Cuff Injuries in Philadelphia

January 15th, 2016


Whether you’re an athlete, a craftsman, or you just lifted something heavy, a rotator cuff tear can be more than just painful; it can cause a loss of strength and range of motion that interferes with your ability to live your life. You may be wondering what your options for treatment are, and what gives you the best possible chance to regain use of your shoulder. Fortunately for those suffering from rotator cuff injuries in Philadelphia, doctors at

Rothman Institute are experts in orthopaedics and sports medicine, and have options for all different types of tears.


How Did You Do That? All About Your Rotator Cuff


You may think of rotator cuff injuries as the sort of thing that only happens to baseball and softball pitchers or tennis players, but they are actually common. While it’s true that repetitive stress such as pitching a ball or swinging a racket is a common cause of rotator cuff tears, you can also tear your rotator cuff by lifting something heavy or breaking a fall with your hands. In fact, since repetitive stress injuries are a common cause of rotator cuff problems, anything from doing work overhead to simply getting older can cause rotator cuff tears.


Your rotator cuff is the group of four muscles that help hold your shoulder in place and power shoulder movement. When one or more of the muscles and tendons have been torn, either in an accident or from repeated use, it can be painful and difficult to use your arm. Symptoms of rotator cuff tears include:

  • Pain in the shoulder, especially when moving or putting pressure on it

  • Pain at night or sleeping

  • Weakness in the affected arm

  • Swelling in the joint


    Crackling or grinding sounds and sensations in the shoulder when you move it


If you have been experiencing these symptoms, you should schedule an appointment with your doctor to diagnose the problem, and talk about next steps.


Rotator Cuff Injuries in Philadelphia: Five Steps for Treatment


If you or someone you love have experienced any rotator cuff injuries in Philadelphia, there are treatments that can make a real difference in your daily life. It’s important to talk to your doctor about which treatment options would be most effective based on your age, level of activity, and health needs, as well as the nature of the trauma to your shoulder. Five steps your doctor may recommend are:

  1. Immobilizing your arm and shoulder with a sling

  2. Over the counter pain relievers known as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs

  3. Physical therapy

  4. Cortisone injections around the damaged tendon


    Surgery to repair damaged muscles and tendons


For those suffering from rotator cuff tears, these treatments can be helpful for alleviating pain, and restoring strength and range of motion. If you have an acute injury, such as from a fall or lifting accident, or if you do overhead or athletic work that requires significant use of your shoulders, your doctor is more likely to talk to you about surgical options to repair the tear. If you are having minimal pain, or do not use your shoulder regularly for lifting, twisting, or reaching overhead, your physician will more than likely recommend non-surgical treatments first.

If you’ve been living with pain and weakness, you should know that there are doctors who are experts in treating rotator cuff injuries in Philadelphia and the surrounding region. WIth twelve convenient locations, Rothman Institute physicians are both knowledgeable and easy to reach. For more information or to
schedule an appointment, reach out to us at 1-800-321-9999.


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