Rotator cuff tears are common among non-athletes

July 26, 2012

Topic: shoulder pain

Orthopaedic surgery has long-term benefits for rotator cuff injuries

One of the most common causes of shoulder pain is a rotator cuff tear. This may be caused by an acute injury, such as an accidental fall, or gradual wear and tear over time, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS). Such a condition may cause pain that radiates from the front of the shoulder to side of the arm.

While people may assume that these problems are more common among athletes, one doctor is suggesting that they are a bigger issue among people who do manual labor.

"Their arm is out front or over head doing repetitive things every day. Heavy lifting, a lot of forceful use of the shoulder. Baseball pitchers, football quarterbacks can tear their rotator cuff, but not quite as often," surgeon Robert Hagen told WLFI in Indiana.

Without proper treatment, the tear may grow larger with repetitive use, according to the AAOS. Conservative approaches such as physical therapy and medication may help alleviate the pain, but active individuals may benefit more from surgery.

Rehabilitation is essential to patients regardless of whether they choose to undergo an operation. Otherwise, the muscles around the tear may grow weak and lead to a loss of motion.

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