How is a Rotator Cuff injury diagnosed?
Medical professionals (such as an orthopedic surgeon or physician) will be able to assess, test and diagnose whether you have a Rotator Cuff injury through a variety of processes.
To begin with, they will gather a medical history about you and your current condition and symptoms. They will inquire about the intensity of your present pain, the duration of your symptoms and the limitations you are experiencing. Details about what instigated the problem, when it started, and whether or not you have ever had treatments for this or a similar condition in the past, are very helpful in assessing your injury.
A physical examination will be performed to determine if you have any signs of a Rotator Cuff or other shoulder injury. They will visually assess and palpate (feel) the bones and soft tissue in both your shoulders to evaluate symmetry and recognize differences. This will identify any abnormalities, such as mild or severe inflammation, bone deformity, atrophied muscles, redness and/or warmth on the skin. You will generally be asked to complete a series of movements to measure your active (performed by you) and passive (performed by your examiner) range of motion. These will test any possible shoulder impingements, as well as your shoulder strength, joint stability and location of tenderness.
Other areas near the source of discomfort, such as your neck, may be examined to ensure your pain is not coming from a “pinched nerve” in the cervical spine, or to rule out osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis.
Most Common Shoulder and Rotator Cuff Diagnostic Tests
A medical professional will sometimes recommend diagnostic testing to obtain more detailed information about your shoulder condition. There are a variety of different tests available to help them analyze the situation; however these will be dependent on your injury.
X-rays provide an image of the overall structure of the shoulder, and are helpful in identifying abnormal bone shapes and/or spurs, arthritis, or calcific tendinitis.
MRIs or CT scans will provide more detailed information and will help to evaluate soft tissue (muscle, tendons, ligaments, connective tissue) injuries such as fluid in the shoulder, tendinitis and/or tears.
CT or CAT scan (computerized tomography)
This will be used to provide a more thorough assessment of the bones and tissues in your Rotator Cuff and shoulder.
Further diagnostic tests such as an arthrogram, ultrasound, electromyogram, or arthroscopic surgery can be used to determine the degree and location of your injury if required.
If you are experiencing Rotator Cuff tendinitis, you will generally feel pain and weakness when the arm is lifted in front of the body or overhead. Often all that will be required to determine your condition is a discussion of your medical history, as well as a visual and physical examination of your shoulder. You may be asked to perform a few movement tests to identify which areas of the Rotator Cuff are damaged, such as the following:
To test your Supraspinatus strength, hold your arms out in front of you at a 30 degree angle with your elbows locked and your thumbs pointing down. Gentle pressure will be applied to the top of your arms as you try to move your arms up and away from your body.
To test if you have an impingement you may be asked to raise your arm overhead, lock your elbow and rotate your arm inward so your thumb is pointing downward; pain with movement is a key indicator.
A Rotator Cuff tear will be evident after determining your limited range of motion and the weakness in your muscles; with a tear you will often not be able to complete the movement tests as a result of the pain. An X-ray will generally be taken to help explain other possible sources of the shoulder pain. Occasionally an MRI will be recommended which will identify the degree of specific tissue tears, swelling and fluid in the Rotator Cuff.
If you have experienced shoulder instability pay special attention to your symptoms. A shoulder subluxation can usually be diagnosed with a physical exam and some movement tests which identify pain or weakness. A dislocation will probably require an X-ray and/or a MRI to assess the overall damage.
Rotator Cuff Treatments
Our Cold Compression Wraps are recommended by several professional sports organizations, and countless medical professionals. That's why we sell them, because they are the best.
Cold Compression Therapy works by interrupting and slowing nerve and cell function in the injured area and reducing swelling that can block blood vessels. This is important because once blood vessels are blocked or damaged, they can no longer carry oxygenated blood through your tendons and ligaments and tissue cells begin to break-down. Without cold compression therapy cellular break-down and tissue damage continues as the cells do not get the oxygen they need to survive. By limiting the amount of damage done to your tissue, you also limit the amount of healing that needs to occur. This is a very important step to heal your rotator cuff faster and with less pain!
We have noticed over time that our customers are so fond of our cold wraps that they are frequently coming back and ordering a second one. The wraps are becoming very popular with baseball and soccer trainers, and the wraps can be conveniently stored in a cooler for quick application on the field when needed.
In addition to using Freezie Wrap® Cold Compression Wraps, we also recommend BFST®, another innovative pain relief device from MendMeShop® - this technology stimulates soft tissue cells to increase blood flow to the treated area.
REMEMBER: If your shoulder is injured and you continue to strain it through exercise, rigid and solid scar tissue will replace the soft tissues' elasticity. This will cause the soft tissue to ALWAYS hurt, during ANY exercise. This condition is very difficult to get rid of, so if you're suffering from a shoulder injury, it's important to treat it and heal as fast as possible.
Blood Flow Stimulation Therapy™
During normal use, activity promotes blood flow through our body. Our body responds to the activity by sending oxygen and nutrient-rich blood to the muscles, joints and tissue. When we are at rest, the blood flow to your shoulder is greatly reduced. But, when your shoulder is injured, it really needs the blood flow to promote the healing process. Since you can't work your shoulder without danger of further injury, you need to stimulate the blood flow another way. Our innovative Inferno Wraps give you the best Blood Flow Stimulation Therapy™ available. Inferno creates special energy waves that stimulate blood flow by penetrating through the outer layers of your shoulder. The energy waves reach deep into your muscles, tendons and cartilage, reducing your pain as they heal the inner tissue.
A Shoulder Inferno Wrap® gives you unparalleled blood flow stimulation energy. You simply won’t find a comparable product on the market. Other therapy products can not come close to offering the comfortable, contoured fit and targeted energy treatment an Inferno Wrap provides. You will feel the soothing, deep penetrating warmth as it works to stimulate your blood flow, we guarantee it. Now you can reduce your pain and heal your shoulder anywhere with the comfortable, light weight Inferno Wrap®.
If you suffer from mild inflammation or pain after certain activities or movements, use Freezie Wrap® cold compression therapy when you complete the activity and then rest your shoulder. Treat your shoulder with the Shoulder Inferno Wrap® up to a couple of times per day, especially before undertaking tasks or exercises that will exacerbate the pain in your shoulder.
Proven Performance, Proven Relief - only found at AidMyRotatorCuff.com. If you have been given a treatment plan by your health professional, make sure you adhere to it to ensure pain free living. In general, people who are committed to their therapies and exercises will have the best medical outcomes.