How to Avoid the Hospital

Hello, my name is Simon. I am a 59-year-old man who lives alone in downtown Perth. I am pleased to say that I have never had to spend a night in a hospital. This is because I know how to take care of myself. When I was growing up my grandpa often used to tell me that if you eat well and exercise, you will live a long life. He died aged 95, so he must have known something. However, it was only when I became friends with a doctor, that I discovered all the other things I could do to stay healthy. I decided to start this blog to encourage others to look after their health.

Tackling Your Rotator Cuff Syndrome

Health & Medical Blog

Also known as rotator cuff disorder, rotator cuff syndrome is one of the commonest causes of shoulder pain. While the extent of pain and stiffness varies according to the injury causing your syndrome, you'll likely want to tackle it as soon as possible to return to a normal range of movement and prevent further injury. In addition to considering pharmacological interventions, you may find that a physiotherapy clinic can aid your recovery.

What is rotator cuff syndrome and how is it diagnosed?

Your rotator cuff is a collection of four muscles that help hold your shoulder joint in its place while assisting with a comfortable range of movement. The syndrome can arise because of several conditions, including tendinitis, the tendon rubbing up against the bone and a build up of calcium around the tendons. If you're experiencing pain in your shoulder and pain upon moving, with or without a preceding injury, your doctor or physiotherapist will perform a physical examination by moving your arm and shoulder in certain directions. In some cases, an x-ray or MRI is used.

How can a physiotherapy clinic help with rotator cuff syndrome?

After the exact nature of your rotator cuff disorder is identified, a qualified physiotherapist can formulate a plan that achieves the following:

  • Restoring your full range of motion
  • Strengthening your scapula's control
  • Improving the rotator cuff's strength
  • Making your shoulder movements more agile

Your physiotherapist can recommend exercises that focus on the specific muscles within your rotator cuff, strengthening them and allowing them to support the surrounding structures. They achieve this by analysing each of your shoulder movements and pinpointing which muscle may require intervention. For example, if you're struggling with adduction, they may focus on the infraspinatus and deltoid muscles, which support this specific movement. Once the rotator cuff is stable, you reduce your risk of dislocation.

What can you do to aid your rotator cuff muscles at home?

Make sure you give your shoulder opportunities to rest by avoiding overuse but don't immobilise it with a brace or sling, as keeping the muscles still may lead to frozen shoulder. If you're experiencing pain, you may want to apply ice or heat to the area, which reduces inflammation and limits the pressure placed on your sensory nerves. You may also want to consider taking a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory such as ibuprofen to further reduce inflammation or an analgesic that addresses pain such as paracetamol. Finally, listen to what your body is telling you; if there's a certain position or activity that induces pain and stiffness, stop it and find an alternative. 


19 April 2017