Do You Need a Shoulder Specialist in Carlsbad?
Before you have rotator cuff surgery you should seek out a shoulder pain specialist in Carlsbad. There are conservative treatments available that for many, are just as effective as surgery.
Let’s review the rotator cuff and problems associated with it:
- The rotator cuff is made up of a group of 4 muscles, each that end in a tendon that attaches to your arm bone called the humerus.
- The rotator cuff’s job is not to move the arm, but to keep the ball joint of the arm in the shoulder blade socket while the larger muscles of the shoulder, chest, and back move the arm.
- The rotator cuff can easily become irritated or torn if you do any heavy lifting and/or repetitive arm movements.
- A chronic tear of the rotator cuff, which happens over time with repeated actions of the arms working overhead (think of pitchers, swimmers, painters, drywall installers, etc.), can be the result of certain occupations or sports and jobs.
- Rotator cuff tears can be so severe they extend from the top to the bottom of the muscle/tendon (full-thickness tears), or involve at least some portion of the muscle/tendon (partial-thickness tears).
- Rotator cuff tears can happen along with injuries or irritation of the shoulder at the biceps tendon, or in combination with tears to the ring of cartilage, called the glenoid labrum, at the shoulder joint.
The long-term changes that occur in and around the shoulder joint because of everyday wear and tear cannot be totally prevented. But you may be able to prevent some rotator cuff problems if you:
- Keep the muscles in your shoulders flexible and strong. Daily exercises to maintain strength and flexibility may be the best defense against rotator cuff disorders.
- Have good posture at all times. Stand straight and relaxed, without slumping.
- Don’t lift objects that are too heavy for you-especially over your head.
- Don’t catch falling objects.
- Avoid sports or other activities where forceful contact or falls are likely or common.
- Don’t keep your arms out to the side or raised over your head for long periods of time, such as when painting a ceiling. If you must do these activities:
- Take frequent breaks, and ice your shoulder several times a day and at night.
- Take a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug to relieve any swelling and pain in the tissues that are being pinched. Be safe with medicines. Read and follow all instructions on the label.
- Ask your doctor if it would be helpful to take an anti-inflammatory medicine before activities that may stress your shoulder.
If you haven’t required surgery for your rotator cuff problems, your shoulder pain specialist in Carlsbad will help you recover your strength and mobility so that your activities of daily living are easier to perform and to help you become pain free again.
For those who’ve had surgery, our physical therapists will put together a unique, personalized treatment protocol based on the feedback from your surgeon so we can optimize the recovery process.
Our physical therapists are trained in a variety of techniques including manual therapy, soft tissue work, neuromuscular retraining, therapeutic exercise and functional retraining.
Treatment typically starts with painless motion of the shoulder joint and shoulder blade (both must work together). It progresses to active exercises that only involve the weight of your arm. Next is a progression to light resistive exercise to improve the function of the nerves and muscle. Recovering your strength is not the only concern. Recovery of functional and pain-free movements of the shoulder are important. For example, we want to help you get back to:
- Activities involving overhead movement.
- Putting on your shirt.
- Sleeping on your shoulder.
- Fastening your car safety belt.
- Return to your sport or recreation of choice.
Please contact us if you have rotator-cuff pain and irritation, or if you’ve just had rotator cuff surgery. We have successfully rehabilitated many and chances are we can help you too. Simply give us a call at
(760) 707-5080 to schedule an appointment.