The rotator cuff is the name for the group of muscles and tendons that make up the shoulder joint. When the rotator cuff is strong and stable, it allows for movement and motion so that a person can do different tasks using the arms and hands.
This body part, however, is prone to injuries due to degeneration among older adults or trauma, especially for those with an active lifestyle. It’s also a common sore spot for people whose jobs entail repetitive use and forceful movement of their shoulder joints, such as those in construction industries.
Prevalence of Rotator Cutoff Injuries
Rotator cuff tears accounted for 50% of shoulder issues in 50-year-olds and 66% in 60-year-olds, according to a study in the Journal of Orthopaedics. In the United States, at least two million people go to their doctor for pain relief for a torn rotator cuff, per the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.
The most symptomatic indication that the rotator cuff may be torn is a pain in the shoulders even when the patient is not doing anything. Sometimes a torn rotator cuff won’t immediately manifest pain, but the patient may experience:
- Weakness in the arms or hands that gradually worsens
- Locking of the injured shoulder, thus making movements stiff or difficult
- A cracking or popping sensation when the patient tries to move his arms or shoulders
- Extreme pain when trying to raise the arms above the head
Treating Rotator Cuff Injury with Occupational Therapy in Miami
Occupational therapy is one of the most effective rehabilitation, or treatment method for rotator cuff injury. It aims to relieve the pain as well as restore the shoulders and arms’ range of motion. Your occupational therapist in Miami may include the following interventions for a torn rotator cuff:
- Exercises to help strengthen the muscles
- Exercises to improve body posture, which also helps with muscle flexibility
- Guidance and tips on joint and soft tissue mobilization
- Education and information on the proper posture and body mechanics to minimize rotator cuff injuries in the future
- Application of modalities, such as iontophoresis and electrical stimulation to stimulate the nerves
Occupational therapists in Miami usually assess the patient’s shoulder before carrying out any therapy or treatment. Progress in the first month might be slow, especially if the patient had shoulder surgery. This is because the occupational therapist will usually not proceed with active therapy if there is still inflammation on the rotator cuff.
After the 5th-6th week of recovery, the patient can move from passive to active occupational therapy and do exercises that are tailored to his needs. By the 12th week of therapy, the patient and the therapist can work on strengthening the shoulder joints as well as preventive maintenance techniques.
Whether the patient had surgery on the shoulders or not, occupational therapy will be quite helpful in allowing the joints to function normally again after an injury. This is a crucial step in the patient’s rehabilitation process if he wants to regain his independence and do everyday activities without using any device or needing assistance.
Hands on therapy – best occupational therapy in Miami
Since rotator cuff rehabilitation can be extremely complex, depending on the severity and extent of injury, the patient’s recovery could take a couple of months. But, with regular and consistent occupational therapy, the patient could speed up his recovery process. The earlier the treatment and rehabilitation process begins, the faster you’ll return to good health.
The treatment provided at our occupational therapy clinic in Miami leads to pain relief, shorter treatment duration, improved treatment results, and decreased indirect expenses resulting from the injury. For inquiries, Contact Us.
The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.