Rotator cuff syndrome

Rotator cuff syndrome

The muscles surrounding the shoulder joint and their tendons form the rotator cuff. With rotator cuff syndrome, the tendons in the muscles of the rotator cuff become irritated and inflamed. Inflammation results in swelling and thickening of the structures, an increase in constriction and thus a further aggravation of the irritation. The injury e is often caused by excessive strain, incorrect working positions or, for example, a fall. About 4% of Finns suffer from it at some point in their lives. The ailment is most common in people aged 35-50.

Symptoms of rotator cuff syndrome

The main symptom of rotator cuff syndrome is pain in the shoulder area and especially in the outer part of the shoulder. Lifting the hand from the side is painful and difficult. Lateral movements put a strain on the shoulder and after straining the shoulder, the pain is often more intense. There may also be resting pain in the shoulder, especially when sleeping on the injured side.

Treatment of rotator cuff syndrome

The key components of self-care for rotator cuff syndrome are shoulder joint rest, avoiding painful movements, and relieving pain. Moving the shoulder joint with the full range of motion (within the limits allowed by the pain) is good to do a few times a day.

Cold therapy relieves symptoms. The use of NSAIDs or analgesic gels is also recommended: over-the-counter products from a pharmacy are often sufficient. The compatibility of medicines with the diseases and the medication in use should always be confirmed by your doctor.

If the symptoms do not improve with self-treatment within a few weeks, it is advisable seek medical examination. Physiotherapy treatment and further rehabilitation instructions are often necessary to restore full range of motion and functionality of the shoulder joint.

Prevention of rotator cuff syndrome

Avoiding shoulder overload and repetitive movements, as well as good working postures, will help prevent trouble. In work where the arms have to be held up for long periods, special attention must be paid to the correct working positions as well as taking adequate breaks. Occupational health care specialists and especially physiotherapists can advise on finding the right working positions.