Rotator cuff injuries can result in severe shoulder pain, sending stabbing pangs into your shoulder area every time you raise your arm above or behind your head. Although rotator cuff ailments are most often observed in people over 65 years of age, they can occur in younger people as well. They typically happen in cases where someone overuses their shoulder with overhead motions, like pitching a baseball or lifting heavy equipment. This can result in partial or complete tearing of the muscles or tendons in the shoulder.
Sometimes the pain is so intense that it can wake you from your sleep at night. You may also experience difficulty performing simple tasks like combing your hair or reaching behind your back. Or, you may encounter weakness in your arm or dullness in your shoulder. A rotator cuff injury tends to worsen the longer that it goes untreated, particularly if you repeatedly use or place pressure on the shoulder, which may further agitate and inflame the injury.
How can you get relief for this condition? First and foremost, it’s important to avoid raising your arm or applying strong pressure to your shoulder until the rotator cuff injury has been healed. Applying a cold pack at the first sign of trouble can help lessen the inflammation in that area, for starters. Your doctor may also prescribe a series of stretching exercises that help ease shoulder stiffness and improve range of motion. Gentle yoga exercises can also help alleviate the condition.
All of those methods are of course beneficial, but you may also want to consider how acupuncture can help treat your rotator cuff injury. Although medical professionals may recommend surgery, cortisone injections, or anti-inflammatory drugs, acupuncture can offer either a milder, holistic alternative to such measures or help a patient recover from surgery afterward—particularly when used in combination with electric stimulation to help generate tissue growth and heal muscles.
Trigger point needling is especially effective in reducing pain caused by a rotator cuff injury. Injured muscles such as those found in this location of the shoulder often contract and knot up, which pinches nerves and prevents much-needed blood and lymphatic fluids from reaching the area. Trigger point needling unravels these snarls, relieving pain and allowing healing to begin.
If you seek relief for acute shoulder pain brought on by a rotator cuff injury, you may wish to consider including acupuncture in your overall treatment plan. It can reduce shoulder pain, facilitate healing, and accelerate your recovery process, allowing you to enjoy your favorite activities and once again experience life free from pain.