Supraspinatus is one of the muscles in your rotator cuff of the shoulder. The supraspinatus tear can be a partial thickness where the muscle fibres are not completely disrupted. A complete tear means all the muscle fibres are disrupted. This muscle is responsible for lifting your arm up sideways and provide stability to the shoulder joint along with your other rotator cuff muscles.
Supraspinatus Tear Causes
Acute Injury – When you fall down on your out stretched arm or when lifting too heavy objects suddenly.
Degeneration– This type of injury occurs slowly over time due to repeated micro trauma or lack of blood supply.
Older than 40 years
Repetitive lifting or overhead activities.
Tennis players, baseball pitchers, painters or carpenters or those who are involved in repetitive over head activities at work.
Snapping sensation and weakness in your arm at the time of Injury.
Pain when lifting and lowering your arm especially sideways.
Pain at rest
Painful lying on your shoulder.
Difficulty lifting objects and over head activities.
Clicking in the joint.
Stiffness in the joint with limited range of motion.
There can be pain that moves down your arm.
Treatment depends on the severity of the tear. In most of the partial thickness tears conservative management with Physiotherapy is advised by your Doctor. A non- operative treatment is used in elderly patients with an irreversible full thickness tear.
Your Physiotherapist will do an assessment of your shoulder, followed by advice and treatment to control pain and inflammation. You will be asked to avoid positions that cause pain and try to balance activity and rest of affected shoulder. Cryotherapy and electrical modalities are used with gentle exercises in the Initial phase. Further treatment will be focussed on increasing the range of movement, improving the control and strength in the muscles. In the final phase of treatment ,a strengthening and stretching programme , core stability exercises and postural correction exercises will given to preventre- injury.
If surgical repair is done for the tear, your Physiotherapist will be able to help you with exercises based on the post operative protocol to regain function.