Denver Orthopedics—Rotator Cuff Tear a Huge Threat for People over 45

The way the shoulder is built is really something to marvel at; it allows for many positions and functions. Although the shoulder has great range of motion, it is not without limitations. This makes it susceptible to problems caused by overuse, trauma, and degenerative conditions.

Rotator Cuff Injuries

One of the shoulder parts vulnerable to injury is the rotator cuff, which is a key component to the healthy functioning of the shoulder. Torn rotator cuff tendons could render the shoulder completely unmovable. This type of injury is often heavily associated with playing baseball and other sports.

According to a recent Cleveland Clinic article, though, sports is not the only reason for a rotator cuff tear; people over 45 are increasingly at risk of the injury. If you belong to this age bracket and feel a sharp pain in the shoulder area, the wise thing to do is to have it checked by a physician in a Denver orthopedics center for signs of injury.


Most often, pain in the shoulders is caused by a condition called tendonitis. Tendonitis is brought about by common wear and tear, from excessive physical activity that requires repetitive motions that the body doesn’t perform often. Physical therapy is the recommended form of treatment for tendonitis—a six-month physical therapy program is usually sufficient to make a shoulder tendonitis problem completely disappear.

Rotator cuff tears caused by trauma

Precipitating trauma is enough to cause a partial or full rotator cuff tear. The rotator cuff is not a very strong tendon, so even a minor fall could cause it to rip. Such injuries can lead to so much pain and sleepless nights.

Treatment for rotator cuff tear

Initial treatment for rotator cuff tears is usually noninvasive and includes conservative treatment measures such as rest, medications, and physical therapy. Surgery is recommended should these conservative measures fail. Surgery is very effective at repairing the rotator cuff. Pain relief is excellent and strength and range of motion are usually regained.

What to do if you suspect rotator cuff tear

Like any other injury, rotator cuff tears take time to heal. If the pain is manageable, experts recommend adequate rest, ice compression, and anti-inflammatory medication during the first few weeks. A visit to a Denver sports medicine facility, such as Steadman Hawkins Clinic Denver, is recommended if the pain doesn’t go away at four weeks. However, if the pain is unbearable and causes sleepless nights, don’t hesitate to go directly to a physician.

(Source: Over 45? How You Can Deal With Rotator Cuff Injuries, Cleveland Clinic, Oct. 02, 2014)


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