A torn rotator cuff is one of the most common conditions treated with unnecessary orthopedic surgery. While it is possible to experience a serious shoulder injury which may require immediate and drastic medical treatment, 90% of all shoulder complaints can be treated non-surgically.
Additionally, a large percentage of these agonizing conditions turn out to be mindbody issues and can therefore be treated using knowledge therapy and avoiding the medical treatment process altogether.
Rotator cuff tears are one of the great structural scapegoats of the orthopedic industry, just like degenerative disc disease or some forms of osteoarthritis.
This patient guide shed light on one of the most mismanaged of all chronic shoulder pain diagnoses and provides hope for patients to find relief without the risks of surgical intervention.
Torn Rotator Cuff Diagnosis
This shoulder pain condition is usually diagnosed through an initial physical exam, followed by a confirmation imaging study. Rotator cuff tears are very common and many patients have them without experiencing any shoulder pain or symptoms whatsoever. Once a positive diagnosis of a torn rotator cuff has been established, the doctor will usually begin a program of conservative treatment, which will escalate in invasiveness until a resolution is achieved.
Doctors have been warned by major medical associations of diagnosing conditions, such as a rotator cuff tear, based exclusively on imaging findings. In many instances, the findings may be coincidental to the pain, supported by poor therapy statistics from a variety of targeted treatments.
What is a Torn Rotator Cuff?
The rotator cuff is a group of 4 muscles, and their corresponding tendons, which regulate the use of the shoulder and arm. These structures work closely with other muscles in the upper arm, shoulder and neck region to control all the motions of the upper limbs. The four individual muscles comprising the rotator cuff are as follows: Supraspinatus muscle, Subscapularis muscle, Teres minor muscle and the Infraspinatus muscle.
A torn rotator cuff is a common terminology used to describe injury or damage to any of these 4 muscles or their respective tendons. In theory, even overexertion can cause tiny tears in the muscles or tendons, so the name of the condition is rather broad-based. When I hear rotator cuff tear, I think of some major damage having been done to the shoulder, but the reality of the condition is usually far less extreme.
Rotator Cuff Tear Treatments
The most common conservative therapies for a rotator cuff injury are: physical therapy, hydrotherapy, pain management drugs and massage therapy. If these modalities are ineffective or the patient has severe pain, the following more drastic treatments will be prescribed: anesthetic injections or surgical correction.
Surgery for the correction of rotator tears is a huge industry and is one of the most commonly performed of all musculoskeletal operations. Most of these surgeries are not necessary and can leave the patient with permanent functional loss. Additionally, simply subjecting patients to the many risks associated with the operation is callous, at best, and criminal, at worst. Some patients actually die during procedures which were never even needed and were performed exclusively to make some greedy and already rich doctor even more money.
Torn Rotator Cuff and Mindbody Pain
The shoulder is an area of much use and abuse, and it is subject to degeneration and injury, just like any other anatomical region. However, most injuries and degeneration are minor and do not cause the type of pain commonly experienced by the majority of patients.
Some patients have tremendous pain even though they have minor tears in the muscles or tendons. Many of these same patients have mobility-related symptoms that do not even correspond to the anatomical location of the tears. This makes the diagnosis of a rotator cuff injury as the primary source of pain a truly baffling conclusion.
One thing is for sure, most patients who hear the words torn or tear, in association with any body part, will receive an immediate and severe nocebo effect which often intensifies the symptoms.
Some patients with chronic shoulder pain are actually suffering from a psychosomatic process causing their symptoms. The mindbody process is the true cause and is only using the anatomical tear as a trigger to begin a convincing display of pain.
I have damaged rotator cuffs in both shoulders from years of hard training in the martial arts. I have worse degeneration there than many patients who have been diagnosed with rotator related pain and have actually undergone surgical correction. I have no pain in either shoulder. I know the facts of this condition and now realize why many of the postoperative patients continue to experience symptoms.
Add up the evidence and you will see a clear picture of yet another structural scapegoat condition on which the majority of shoulder and arm pain is blamed. It is the exact same process doctors use to blame herniated discs, and the like, for many back pain conditions. Learn the facts. Get the knowledge. Cure the pain. No surgery is likely to be required.
Back Pain > Psychologically Induced Pain Syndromes > Torn Rotator Cuff