Rotator Cuff Injury Healing Time

10 Minor Rotator Cuff Injury Healing Time And Pain Relief Facts

It has been estimated that almost two million Americans seek medical attention annually for problems with or issues related to the rotator cuff. Although its name may suggest a single part, the rotator cuff is actually a very complicated series of muscles and connecting tendons that enable movement at the shoulder and also keep the arm bone connected to the socket it fits into found in the shoulder blade. Because this area is subject to regular usage regardless of how physically active or inactive an individual is, it’s prone to injury, damage and degeneration. The extent of the damage or injury combined with the overall physical condition of the affected as well as their age strongly dictates rotator cuff injury healing time and which types of treatment are appropriate or not appropriate.  Ten facts about relieving pain and variances in healing time follow that can help shed some light on this common but complicated type of injury.

  1. There are Different Types of Injuries: In fact, five or more injuries are commonly associated with the rotator cuff, although most people are primarily familiar with tears to the tendons found here. Aside from tears, tendonitis, impingement, adhesive capsulitis and bursitis all may also occur. Rotator cuff injury healing time is greatly impacted by which type of damage has occurred, with very mild cases of tendinitis often diminishing rapidly in comparison to more serious injury.
  2. There are Different Types of Tears: A rotator cuff tear may sound like a serious injury, but that is actually not always the case. There are two types of tears that can occur here, a complete tear or a partial tear. A partial tear refers to damage to the soft tissue without the area being completely torn or severed. This type of damage is often the result of fraying, and is less serious than a complete (or, full thickness) tear. Although similar, rotator cuff injury healing time when the tear is considered minor is substantially less than a those associated with a complete tear.
  3. Injuries Can Get Worse: Not only is it likely that not resting the injured area will lead to a much longer recovery time, it’s also possible that it can lead to further or worsening damage over time. In the case of a small partial tear for instance, proper rest and limiting use of the area can rapidly reduce the presence of painful symptoms and discomfort. Perhaps more importantly however, is the fact that not allowing for proper healing time can lead to a worsening of the injury, such as a partial tear becoming a complete tear, which will not only increase rotator cuff injury healing time, but be far more painful in the process.
  4. Pain Relievers Help with Symptoms, but Don’t Treat the Problem: The use of over the counter pain medications such as nonsteroidal anti inflammatory medication as well as creams and patches designed for topical pain relief are very useful in helping to reduce discomfort immediately following an injury. However, it’s important to remember that these types of products only mask the symptoms of the injury and don’t actually treat its underlying causes. That does not mean that they should not be used, and most doctors will recommend them. However, prolonged use of over the counter non-steroidal antiinflammatories can cause gastrointestinal problems over time, and those with lingering pain may want to elect natural pain relief instead if longer term relief is required.
  5. Exercises and Therapy Have Added Value: When most people think of physical therapy, they think about a process that is meant to help improve range of motion and prevent stiffness. However, not only is orchestrated physical activity important to reducing rotator cuff injury healing time, it’s also necessary in order to strengthen the area and reduce the risk of further injury as well. Physical therapy may not be the first thing people think of when pain management techniques comes to mind, however regular strengthening activities can actually help reduce pain, too.
  6. Other Treatments Exist: Most minor cases of injury to the shoulder area are not considered candidates for surgical repair. However, in between home care and surgery lay several very effective options for slower to heal injuries. One of these is the use of steroid injections. While they aren’t useful in reducing rotator cuff injury healing time, they can be very effective at reducing pain and discomfort. These types of injections provide very potent anti inflammatory benefits which can combat one of the primary sources of pain following injury.
  7. Alternative Treatments Exist, too: Listeners to the recent Tony Robbins podcast which mentioned the technology may be hearing for the first time about whole body cryotherapy. The procedure is meant to amplify the benefits of an ice bath and take them to the next level by boosting damage repairing immune responses and stimulating healing chemical processes within the body. A cryotherapy cold sauna is used to deliver the supercooled gases to the skin’s exterior which rapidly prompts these physiological responses and is purportedly responsible for the multiple benefits. Primarily developed for treating the discomfort associated with rheumatoid arthritis, the technology has been found to also be useful in treating sports injuries as well as other types of injury and illness. For these reasons, Cryotherapy Toronto and other major cities offer is becoming increasingly popular. It’s possible that the cooling cure may help reduce rotator cuff injury healing time as well as reduce pain and discomfort by minimizing inflammation.
  8. Healing Time Can be Excessive: Most minor injuries to the rotator cuff will not be considered candidates for surgical repair. However, as noted previously, minor injuries can turn into larger injuries over time. For these reasons, injuries may need to be reevaluated after a period of time to see if additional treatment is necessary. This amount of time may vary from doctor to doctor, but it is not uncommon for rotator cuff injury healing time to be longer than six months and up to one year. Depending on the amount of discomfort associated with the injury, this can be considered by some to be excessive.
  9. There are Hidden Causes of Lengthened Healing Times: When most people think of injuries, they think of instant or violent trauma. However, sometimes it may be our own bodies that are causing us injury. Bone spurs can contribute to damage to the rotator cuff, and they may be a likely culprit in the cases of a very slow rotator cuff injury healing time. In these cases, regular home care and pain management may not be adequate and improvement may not be noted. The excessive bone that is causing the damage must be removed and the affected tendon repaired.
  10. Healing Time Varies: With any type of injury, it’s important to remember that every individual may have a different experience. Rotator cuff injury healing time will vary from person to person based on their age, their level of physical health and their level of daily activity. An older person who isn’t very physically active may heal slower and have more pain than a mid 20s athlete who is active every day. Working with a healthcare provider can help differentiate whether or not an injury is just slower to heal or whether it’s being impacted by health problems or further damage.

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