There are a wide range of potential treatment options for most rotator cuff injuries, with a shoulder brace offering added protection and pain control.
To help you understand if a brace can help a rotator cuff tear, Bauerfeind have pulled together everything you need to know.
What are rotator cuff muscles?
The rotator cuff muscles are a group of muscles and tendons around joint of the shoulder, which stabilise the head of the humerus (upper arm bone) in the socket of the scapula (shoulder blade).
They are also responsible for providing the “fine-tuning” movements of the head of the scapula.
What is a rotator cuff tear?
Usually, when a there is a rotator cuff tear, it causes pain in the shoulder which tends to worsen with use of the joint.
The injury is particularity common for people who repeatedly do overhead motions - such as carpenters or painters.
It's also worth noting there are two types of rotator cuff tears.
A partial tear is when the tendon is still attached to the humerus (upper arm bone), while a complete tear happens when the tendon is no longer attached - this is sometimes due to a hole forming in the tendon, or a straight tear.
What causes a rotator cuff tear?
One of the main sources of rotator cuff tears is degeneration, with individuals over 40 more commonly affected.
Damage to the rotator cuff can also happen due to a fall which damages the clavicle (collarbone), likewise a dislocation of the shoulder can also cause a rotator cuff tear.
Bony spurs which are growths of bone which can develop on the shoulder, can also irritate the tendon as they rub when the arm is lifted.
Overuse, decreases blood flow, poor posture and family history are also attributed to rotator cuff injuries.
What are the symptoms?
Continuous pain in the shoulder especially when lifting overhead is the most common symptom of a rotator cuff tear.
Those with the injury might also result in pain when sleeping, cracking sounds when moving the shoulder, a reduced range of motion or weakness in the shoulder.
Treatment for rotator cuff tear
A partial rotator cuff tear can heal on its own without surgery, but a complete tear may be more complicated.
With more conservative treatment, an individual can improve functionally and decrease their pain, particularly by strengthening their shoulder.
About 80 per cent of rotator cuff injuries can get better without surgery, although it may take up to a year for improvement.
Some treatments include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs to reduce swelling.
Additionally, your physio or doctor might recommend some strengthening exercises.
Can a brace help recovery?
In conjunction with the treatments above, a patient may need to wear a brace or sling to limit shoulder movement.
Bauerfeind recommend wearing a shoulder brace such as the OmoTrain to stabilise the shoulder joint and activate the muscles.
The OmoTrain also uses an intermittent compression which relieves pain and promotes circulation, while its special strap system guides the joint securely during movement and leaves the chest free so you can breathe easily.
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Bauerfeind products are developed at our innovation and manufacturing facility in Zeulenroda, Germany. Based on years of scientific research, our award-winning braces and support garments are highly recommended by medical professionals and athletes worldwide.
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