These types of injuries, also called Cumulative Trauma Disorders, can cause damage to muscles, tendons and nerves of the shoulder/forearm/hand...which can then result in pain, weakness or numbness.
Many of our favorite summer outdoor activities are associated with these kinds of injuries. So what can you do to prevent your summer from ending in injury? Stay tuned as we break down the 5 Most Common Upper Extremity Repetitive Strain Injuries resulting from summer activities.
What's the deal with Rotator Cuff Tendonitis?
- The Rotator Cuff, often abbreviated as RTC, is a combination of 4 muscles: supraspinatus, infraspinatus, teres minor and subscapularis.
- These 4 muscles and their tendons help lift and rotate the arm.
- The RTC's main responsibility is connecting the upper arm bone to the shoulder blade, including keeping the ball and socket joint intact.
Causes of Rotator Cuff Tendonitis:
- An RTC injury includes really any type of irritation or damage to the muscles or tendons of the Rotator Cuff.
- The supraspinatus muscle, which is responsible for lifting the arm, is most commonly affected.
- Falling on an outstretched arm, using improper lifting techniques or lifting too much weight, and repetitive activities (especially those done overhead) can be obvious causes. Next time you are getting some work done around the house, keep this in mind. Remember to take a break from overhead activities such as painting or washing the windows.
- Aside from repetitive activities or falling, aging, poor posture, poor muscle strength and muscle imbalances also contribute to the likelihood that you'll develop an RTC injury.
Signs and Symptoms of a Rotator Cuff Injury
- Pain or tenderness in the shoulder with reaching overhead or behind your back, lifting, pulling or sleeping (especially on the painful side). This pain typically presents itself in the front of the shoulder and can radiate down the side of the arm.
- Common complaints include shoulder weakness and/or limited range of motion
- When a tear occurs, there is often a sudden onset of pain, as well as a popping sensation and an immediate loss of strength in the arm. In chronic cases, symptoms can develop more gradually as a result of long-term wear and tear.
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