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Prevention

Avatar Dr. Kyle Bickel Jun 21, 2019

There’s no guarantee that you can prevent yourself from developing a rotator cuff tear. Even if you’re very cautious about the activities that you perform, it is entirely possible that you could develop a rotator cuff tear. In fact, not infrequently I see patients in their 60s or 70s who have had no trauma and they just have pain in their shoulder and they have a rotator cuff tear. So unfortunately there’s no magic way of preventing a rotator cuff tear from developing. Certainly, there are activities that we can avoid that can help prevent rotator cuff tears and particularly as we get older, these are activities that one should consider avoiding. Any sort of high impact overhead activities, for instance, can be impactful to the rotator cuff. Something as simple as putting a suitcase in the overhead compartment – something that you might have done without thinking when you were in your 20s and 30s, when you get to be in your 50s and 60s, if you try and lift that 50 pound bag up and put it into the overhead compartment, you might find that it really affects your shoulder. So somebody to consider. Also getting it out – just as simple as pulling it out – I’ve seen many times patients in their 50s and 60s pulling their suitcase out of the overhead compartment and they tear their rotator cuff. So things that you take for granted when you’re younger, as we get older – unfortunately those things can be harmful to the rotator cuff and those are things to think about.

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