Risk Factors For Rotator Cuff Injuries

by Administrator 16. September 2015 14:07

Rotator Cuff is a group of tendons and muscles that help to keep the shoulder joint stable. They also enable the extensive movement of the joint. An injury to the Rotator Cuff can adversely affect even the basic daily activities such as lifting an object, pulling a door, brushing your hair etc. The condition may cause intense pain, stiffness, loss of motion, muscle weakness, tenderness and swelling in the shoulder joint.

Risk factors associated with Rotator Cuff injuries:

  • Falls or Accidents: In case of an accident or a fall which impacted the shoulder, there are chances of the tendons, ligaments or bursae to get bruised and cause pain.
  • Sports Activities: Sportsperson involved in racquet games or requiring repetitive movements of the shoulder, such as weightlifters, disc throwers, swimmers etc. are likely to suffer from a Rotator Cuff injury.
  • Construction Jobs: Occupations such as house painting or carpentry require repetitive overhead arm movements that may gradually cause damage to the Rotator Cuff.
  • Muscle Overuse: Anyone who is involved in jobs that require lifting heavy objects or keeping the shoulder joint over head for longer durations (e.g. painters) have an increased risk of sustaining the injury.
  • Arthritis: People who have Shoulder Arthritis are more prone to Rotator Cuff conditions. Arthritis weakens the bones as well as muscles, and cause related problems in the shoulder joint.
  • Age: As age progresses, people become more prone to Rotator Cuff injuries due to weakened muscles and stiff joints. The condition is more commonly seen in people aged over 40 years.
  • Heredity: Genetic factors are also linked to developing Rotator Cuff injuries.
  • Smoking: Smokers are more likely to be prone to Arthritis and weak muscles, hence at higher risk of sustaining Rotator Cuff injuries.

It is important to consult an orthopedic doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment of the injury. Based on the symptoms and range of motion of the shoulder joint, the doctor may recommend rest, hot/cold compressions, wearing a sling or medications. There could be other conditions accompanying Rotator Cuff injury, such as nerve damage, tearing of ligaments, torn cartilage etc. which, if not treated timely, increases the risk of further damage.

Dr. Fagelman is a Carrollton, TX based shoulder surgeon providing surgical and non-surgical treatment for Rotator cuff injuries. To schedule an appointment, you can call at (972) 492 – 1334.

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Rotator Cuff Injury: Prevention Tips

by Administrator 23. February 2015 11:42

Rotator Cuff is made of tendons and muscles, which help in the movement of the shoulders. An injury to it can lead to pain and inflammation in the shoulder, which may disrupt its normal functioning. Here are some prevention tips that help you avoid the injury.

Reduce Repetitive Overuse

The major cause of rotator cuff injury is the overuse of the muscles. Certain jobs and activities require you to perform repetitive shoulder action, which puts strain on the rotator cuff muscles. To avoid this situation you should try to use both arms or switch the arms to do the task. This will offer rest to the rotator cuff muscles in the arm and is especially important for people who regularly lift and carry heavy objects at work.

Avoid Sleeping On One Side

If you sleep on your side for long it will put pressure on your shoulder and cause damage to the rotator cuff. As your entire weight lies on the shoulder it not only harms the rotator cuff but also puts a large amount of stress on the shoulder joint. Chronic side sleepers often develop rounded shoulders and their rotator cuff muscles weaken. The situation ultimately leads to chronic shoulder pain and dysfunction.

Improve Your Posture

Another problem that often leads to rotator cuff injury is wrong posture. You should have a strong and stable posture to avoid the injury. You should try and keep your arm close to your body when lifting heavy weights and avoid putting undue strain on your shoulder. By carrying weight close to your body, you can prevent rotator cuff injury. You must keep your elbows at your side as it keeps your shoulder musculature in a stable position.

Warm Up Before Exercise

It is crucial that you perform warm up exercises before playing or doing any strenuous activities that involve the shoulder. As warm muscles are stronger, flexible and faster, they can bear stress and tension easily without taxing the rotator cuff muscles. If you do weight lifting or play sports such as basketball, cricket, baseball, tennis, etc., that involve repeated shoulder movement, you must start with a warm up session.

By strengthening your cuff muscles and exercising them regularly you can make sure that they are strong enough to bear any wear and tear. You should exercise properly and make sure you work under expert supervision to avoid over straining your shoulder.

For more prevention tips, contact Dr. Fagelman at OrthoTexas, Carrollton. To schedule an appointment with the shoulder specialist, call at (972) 492-1334.

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Common Sports Injuries Of The Shoulder

by Administrator 14. July 2014 06:44

Shoulder injuries are a common consequence of repetitive and overhead movements of the shoulder that result in acute shoulder pain. People who are involved in sports like tennis, badminton, bowling, baseball, swimming etc subject their shoulders to enormous stress and strain, and unfortunately end up injuring their shoulders. Activities like washing walls, carpentry and gardening have been found to strain the shoulders as well.

The shoulder is a ball and socket joint which is made up of- the upper arm bone (humerus), collar bone (clavicle) and shoulder blade (scapula). Muscles, tendons and ligaments hold these bones together for free movement of the shoulder. Due to injuries to shoulder there may be swelling, tingling sensation, weakness, numbness and changes in range of motion in shoulder. Though minor injuries can be healed easily, serious shoulder injuries caused due to collisions and falls require medical attention. They can cause dislocation of the joints of shoulders. A few common sports injuries to shoulder are discussed below:

  • Rotator Cuff Tendinitis – It occurs in people who use consistent overhead motions and overuse their shoulders. This occurs to athletes who play sports like tennis, baseball etc and to the elderly due to degeneration of the tendons. Exercises recommended by orthopedic surgeon may gradually heal the injury and anti inflammation medicines can help reduce the pain and swelling.
  • Impingement Syndrome – Excessive rubbing of the shoulder muscles against the shoulder blade cause impingement. It is a form of rotator cuff injury where the tendons feel pinched and inflamed.
  • Dislocated Shoulder – Trauma may cause the shoulder to dislocate or pop put of a joint. It causes severe damage to the tendons and ligaments that help hold the shoulder joint in place.  It requires immediate medical attention and needs to be put back in place by an experienced professional.  Shoulder dislocations may need surgical treatment to repair the damage.
  • Shoulder Instability – It can occur as an aftermath of dislocated shoulder.  If the shoulder remains unstable, subsequent dislocations may occur. Physical therapy and anti inflammatory medicines help relieve symptoms of pain or else surgery may be required to repair torn ligaments and tendons so that they keep the shoulder in place.
  • Thrower's Shoulders – It causes abnormal gliding of the shoulder due to overhead throwing movements. The shoulder joints get stretched and the back gets tighter and this injury requires special expertise to treat and diagnose.
  • Labral Tears – It may occur as a result of falls, throws or blows to the shoulder. The labrum that cushions the shoulder joints can tear and cause intense pain. If the tears are large, they may cause shoulder dislocations.

Apart from these injuries, a number of injuries because of sports occur and cause damage to the shoulder. These sports injuries can become chronic if they are not treated on time or if the straining activities are continued before the joint fully recovers. Special care and treatments are a must before continuing any activity that causes strain or stress to the shoulder.

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Rotator Cuff Syndrome: Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

by Administrator 21. April 2014 09:58

Rotator cuff syndrome is a debilitating and extremely painful condition of the shoulder. It can come about in a variety of ways and can have many causes or problem areas. The rotator cuff gives the shoulder its mobility and range of motion, and consists of muscles and tendons.  Any damage to these tendons causes rotator cuff syndrome. This condition happens due to a number of different causes and can be treated based on the nature and severity of the condition. It can be the cause of severe pain and loss of motion and needs to be treated immediately to avoid any further complication.


Rotator cuff syndrome can happen due to a variety of different external causes which can damage the tendons in the area. A few of these are -

  • Keeping the hand and shoulder in one particular position for long periods of time. This happens to people whose work involves daily and heavy use of computers.
  • Sports activity like tennis which involves heavy use of the rotator cuff.
  • Activity that needs long periods when the hand remain overhead.
  • Bad sleeping posture.
  • Lack of coordination of movement in shoulder blades.
  • These are a few of the things that can be responsible for rotator cuff syndrome.


Rotator cuff syndrome brings acute pain especially felt when there is any attempt to move the hand or shoulder. The pain might be mild at first but usually increases in intensity. There is also severe loss of mobility and range of motion accompanied by lack of strength and stability.


The first step of treatment is to undergo a physical exam by an orthopedic surgeon and conduct important diagnostic tests like an x-ray. Depending on the acuteness of the pain, doctors in Carrollton might also recommend procedures like ultrasound tests or MRIs to gauge the extent of the shoulder pain. Once the damage has been ascertained treatment for normal cases usually consists of rest, regular application to hot or cold compress and generally avoiding activity except for the kind that is absolutely necessary. Over the counter painkillers and anti-inflammatory medication can also be used. This is ideally supplemented with a range of exercises and physical therapy to give strength to the area and to restore range of motion. In severe cases orthopedic doctors can also use the application of steroids to stimulate the healing process. In case of a complete rotator cuff tear, the only helpful mode of treatment might be surgical repair.

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