Your shoulder is the most mobile joint in your body. Certain activities like tennis and swimming can be rough on this joint. You might also be more at risk for a shoulder problem if you don’t move your shoulder much or have diabetes. When you have shoulder pain, you may wonder if your shoulder issue is a rotator cuff tear or a frozen shoulder. A physician at Intercoastal Medical Group in Sarasota, FL can determine which one it is with a thorough evaluation.
Rotator Cuff Tear
Your shoulder is a ball and socket joint because the upper portion of your humerus fits into part of your shoulder blade. You have a rotator cuff, which has four muscles along with four tendons that help you rotate your shoulder. A rotator cuff tear happens when one or more of the tendons that make up your rotator cuff sustain damage, either fully or partially.
Frozen shoulder occurs when you have stiffness or pain in your shoulder. The pain and other symptoms may appear slowly and worsen over time. Typically, the progression happens over one to three years.
The symptoms of both conditions may cause pain, but each condition is slightly different in terms of the pain and how the condition progresses.
Rotator Cuff Tear
You may have pain in your rotator cuff that feels like a dull ache. You might experience the worst of the pain at night. It could even worsen enough to wake you. Throughout the day, you may only experience pain from a rotator cuff tear when you move your shoulder in certain directions.
Frozen shoulder causes weaknesses, pain, and limited range of motion in the shoulder. Additionally, the symptoms can worsen over time without treatment. The second stage is the frozen stage, which is when your pain may start to subside, but you’ll notice that it becomes more difficult for you to move your shoulder. In the third stage of frozen shoulder, your range of motion will begin to restore.
One issue tends to occur from underuse while the other occurs from overuse, in many cases. Each problem has different risk factors, as well.
Rotator Cuff Tear
A rotator cuff tear may occur when you have damage to your shoulder from an acute injury. On the other hand, repetitive use can cause a tendon to tear, such as repeatedly moving your arm over your head. Your risk may increase if you’re 60 or older. You’re also more at risk if you work in certain fields like painting or carpentry, or when playing certain sports.
The tendons in your shoulder have a capsule of connective tissue that tightens and thickens when you have a frozen shoulder. This process limits motion in your shoulder.
In some cases, your doctor may not know why you develop frozen shoulder. However, you’re more likely to experience it if you have diabetes or had a stroke that affected your shoulder. Your risk also heightens when you had surgery or an arm fracture, and you had to immobilize your arm.
Choose One of Our Clinics in Sarasota or Bradenton, FL for Your Shoulder Pain
No matter which clinic you choose, you’ll have a physician in Sarasota who cares and will accurately determine the cause of your problem. You may receive care from a primary care physician or a specialist in rotator cuff repair who’ll ensure you get back to sports, work, or whatever it is you’re missing out on.
Schedule an appointment with Intercoastal Medical Group, serving Sarasota, Bradenton, and the nearby Florida region, if you have shoulder pain or a limited range of motion in your shoulder. Call us at one of our locations or use our online form.