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Rotator Cuff

Andrew Bulczynski, MD

Sports Medicine Physician & Orthopedic Surgeon located in Marina Del Rey, CA

Shoulder injuries can make something as simple as carrying your groceries feel like a daunting task. Dr. Andrew Bulczynski in Marina del Rey, California, is available to diagnose your shoulder pain and determine whether you’re experiencing a rotator cuff injury, so he can devise the right individualized treatment plan to suit your lifestyle. Call or book an appointment online today for more information.

Rotator Cuff

What is the rotator cuff?

The rotator cuff is made up of four muscles and tendons that preserve and stabilize the shoulder, allowing you to move the joint without pain. When the rotator cuff is injured or torn, it can cause extreme pain and hinder the range of motion in your shoulder.

A variety of factors can lead to a rotator cuff injury, and the pain may range from mild to severe, depending on the level of injury. Outside of car accidents and falls, rotator cuff injuries most commonly affect tennis players, baseball players, carpenters, and professional painters.

What causes rotator cuff injuries?

There are plenty of reasons you may be suffering from rotator cuff pain, including:

Tendinitis

Rotator cuff tendinitis tends to develop gradually and most commonly affects swimmers, tennis players, and baseball pitchers. It can also occur if you sleep on the same side every night, compressing your shoulder.

Bursitis

The bursae are fluid-filled sacs that sit between the rotator cuff tendons and surrounding bone. When they become inflamed or irritated, they can cause severe shoulder and arm pain, as well as hinder the range of motion in your shoulder.

Rotator cuff tear

A common injury in athletes, a strain or complete tear of the rotator cuff is generally caused by overuse. If you experience a rotator cuff tear, the pain will likely be immediate and severe, so it’s important to seek medical attention right away.

Do I have treatment options?

After reviewing your medical history and performing a physical examination, Dr. Bulczynski may order imaging scans to determine whether you’re suffering from a rotator cuff injury. Once you’re diagnosed with a rotator cuff injury, there are plenty of nonsurgical and surgical treatment options to choose from, including:

Ice and heat therapy

Applying ice to your rotator cuff helps reduce swelling and inflammation, while heat therapy improves flexibility and relieves stiffness in your shoulder. If you’re experiencing a rotator cuff strain, ice and heat therapy may relieve pain and help you regain mobility in your shoulder.

Physical therapy

For more severe injuries, Dr. Bulczynski might recommend physical therapy to keep your shoulder flexible and help you regain control of your rotator cuff. Depending on the severity of your injury, Dr. Bulczynski crafts a physical therapy plan that includes a combination of stretches, exercises, and massages.

Surgery

If nonsurgical treatments have not reduced your rotator cuff pain and inflammation, surgery is your best bet for a full recovery. Arthroscopy is a minimally invasive surgical procedure that requires only a few minor incisions to repair damaged tissue.

For more information on your rotator cuff treatment options, call Andrew Bulczynski, MD, or book an appointment online today.