How to Relieve Rotator Cuff Pain

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The rotator cuff is a group of four tendons that stabilize the shoulder and house several muscles. They can be strained, inflamed or torn. As a result, they can impair movement and cause great pain. Further, problems that may occur hand-in-hand could be ganglion cysts and bursitis.This article guides the reader through available methodologies to relieve pain of various rotator cuff problems

  • Monitor persistent shoulder pain. If there is pain on movement, particularly raising the arm, there is a chance that you have rotator cuff damage. Don't waste time with trial and error; verify the situation by calling your doctor and getting an X-Ray.

  • When a rotator cuff problem has been diagnosed, start by putting heat and cold (ice) alternately on it. You want to prevent swelling, if possible.

  • Ask the doctor for pain medication, such as a Cortisone injection, at the time of diagnosis. Medication will dramatically reduce the pain if used. Take an anti-inflammatory if any joint is inflamed or if you have a bursitis.

  • Seek out a swimming pool. Move your arm up and down and side to side--using the water as the resistance. This is easy on the joint and will aid in reducing pain.

  • Dangle your arm. Do not let your shoulder stay in the same position. Your shoulder will literally "freeze" and will be immovable. This is called "frozen shoulder." To prevent this, dangle your arm loosely. This will put weight on the shoulder. This will keep the shoulder mobile. It will also reduce pain.

  • Execute a mild rehabilitation plan. This involves strengthening the muscles around the rotator cuff as well as keeping the rotator cuff loose. This can be accomplished by dangling the arm with a very light weight, holding the arm level with a light weight, and rotating the arm with a light weight. This strengthens the muscles and subsequently relieves pain.

  • Determine if all previous attempts at pain management have failed. It may be necessary to have shoulder surgery. This can be accomplished with arthroscopic surgery or with general surgery. Work with your doctor to determine the best approach.

  • Keep a journal and if at any time throughout various attempts at pain management the shoulder pain becomes unbearable or movement is impossible, call the doctor.

Tips & Warnings

  • Keep a journal regarding pain intensity.
  • Try milder treatments first.
  • Always take medication as prescribed.
  • Call your doctor if pain becomes unbearable.
  • Photo Credit All: Public Domain
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