Rotator Cuff Therapy Exercises

Rotator Cuff Inflammation

Rotator cuff inflammation is no different to an inflammation affecting any other part of the body. The causes may differ slightly from shoulder to knee to ankle etc. but the symptoms remain the same.

If you are suffering with cuff inflammation I want to give you an understanding of what it is you are up against.

Just like you I have suffered with cuff inflammation in the past. I know how painful and debilitating it can be.

I will explain the causes of inflammation one of the most common rotator cuff problems.

Then I want to have a look at the various symptoms. Finally I will touch on some of the best ways of treating this condition simply and safely.

So what is inflammation? Inflammation is quite simply a process by which the body’s white blood cells protect us from infection and foreign substances such as bacteria and viruses.

Autoimmune diseases or syndromes

Unfortunately, these same white blood cells and inflammatory chemicals can actually do more harm than good. In some diseases the body’s natural defense, or immune, system can react badly. This can start an inflammatory response when there are no foreign substances to fight off.

These diseases have become known as autoimmune diseases. The effect is that the body’s normally protective immune system causes damage to its own tissues. The body responds as if normal tissues are infected or somehow abnormal.

Symptoms of inflammation

The major symptoms of inflammation include the following

  • Redness
  • Warmth
  • Swelling
  • Pain
  • Joint stiffness

Rotator Cuff InflammationIn fact these symptoms have been documented from as early as 30 B.C. A Roman physician called Aulus Cornelius Celsus wrote a book called De medicina that was way ahead of it’s time.

He highlighted the first four symptoms above and they are still the defining clinical features of inflammation.

It is quite common for only some and not all of these symptoms to be present.

Pretty much any combination goes.

That is why inflammation can affect people in so many different ways.

A rotator cuff burning sensation is a fairly common example.

Inflammation is also associated with general “flu-like" symptoms such as:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Muscle stiffness
  • Headaches
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fatigue

What causes the inflammation symptoms?

When inflammation occurs, chemicals from the body’s white blood cells are released into the affected tissues. These chemicals attempt to rid the body of foreign substances. The following can then occur

  • The release of chemicals increases the blood flow to the area and may result in redness and warmth
  • Some of the chemicals cause leakage of fluid into the tissues, resulting in swelling
  • The inflammatory process may stimulate nerves and cause pain

This whole process can regularly lead to more inflammatory fluid being released. This can be followed by a wearing down of the cartilage in certain joints. This in turn leads to more inflammation and on and on . . .

Common causes of rotator cuff inflammation

A large number of the common rotator cuff problems have a degree of associated inflammation. The list below is by no means every condition that could result in inflammation. It does contain those conditions in which inflammation is most often seen.

  • Rotator cuff tendinitis
  • Rotator cuff bursitis
  • Rotator cuff strain
  • Rotator cuff tear
  • Shoulder joint arthritis

How is rotator cuff inflammation treated?

There are a number of treatment options available for inflammatory diseases. Some are very similar to methods used when healing rotator cuff injury or tears. They include

  • Medications
  • Rest
  • Exercise
  • Surgery

The type of treatment prescribed can vary dependant upon the patient’s actual condition and medical history, age, the other medication taken and the severity of the symptoms experienced. Unfortunately there are no hard and fast rules and no “one size fits all” cure.

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