Differences Between Frozen Shoulder and Rotator Cuff May 1, 2023

What are the Differences Between Frozen Shoulder and Rotator Cuff?

The shoulder is one of the most used joints in the human body and, as such, has a high risk of injury. Frozen shoulder and rotator cuff injuries are two of the most common shoulder injuries. Both can cause pain and stiffness in the shoulder, making it difficult to move the arm. But when it comes to frozen shoulder vs rotator cuff injury, there are key differences between the two.

At World Frozen Shoulder Clinic, we specialize in the Manual Capsular Dissection (MCD) procedure and other non-surgical shoulder treatments to give you lasting relief. We also like to engage patients in the discussion on frozen shoulder vs rotator cuff injury. This article highlights the differences between two significant injuries to the shoulder. 

What Is A Rotator Cuff Tear?

A rotator cuff injury produces dull aches that worsen when sleeping on the affected shoulder. People who perform repetitive overhead motions or participate in competitive sports are more likely to develop this shoulder condition. A significant injury commonly causes a rotator cuff tear to the shoulder or the deterioration of the tendon tissue over time.

If the rotator cuff is torn due to a sudden injury, you should see your doctor for a physical examination. The type of treatment recommended will be determined by the tear size.

The following factors may raise your risk of rotator cuff injury:

Occupation and sporting activities – Because of the repetitive arm motions required to perform these activities, certain occupations, such as painters and carpenters, and sports athletes, such as pitchers, archers, and tennis players, may have an increased risk of developing a rotator cuff injury.

Age – as you get older, your chances of getting a rotator cuff tear rise.

Frozen Shoulder vs Rotator Cuff Tear: What are the Differences? 

There are a few key differences between frozen shoulder and rotator cuff injuries. 

First, frozen shoulder is more common in women than men, while women have smaller rotator cuff injuries than men. Second, a frozen shoulder is more likely to occur in people over 40, while rotator cuff injuries can occur at any age. Third, a frozen shoulder often comes on gradually, while rotator cuff injuries tend to happen suddenly. Finally, some frozen shoulder cases improve with time, while some rotator cuff injuries may require surgery to heal fully.

How do You Tell if You Have a Frozen Shoulder or a Torn Rotator Cuff?

You may experience rotator cuff pain that feels like a dull ache. You may also feel the worst of the pain at night. It may even become severe enough to cause you to awaken. You may only feel pain from a rotator cuff tear when you move your shoulder in certain directions throughout the day.

A frozen shoulder causes weakness in the area, pain, and a limited range of motion. Furthermore, if the symptoms are not treated, they can worsen. The second stage is frozen, where your pain may begin to subside, but you will notice that moving your shoulder becomes more difficult. Your range of motion will begin to return in the third stage of a frozen shoulder.

Can a Rotator Cuff Injury Cause Frozen Shoulders?

Although frozen shoulder specialists have not yet determined the exact cause of frozen shoulder, they have identified a direct link between the condition and rotator cuff tears. That’s because the shoulder freezes when it has been immobilized for a while due to an injury like a rotator cuff tear.

Non-Surgical Treatments for Shoulder Pain Available at World Frozen Shoulder Clinic

Talk to our shoulder specialists at World Frozen Shoulder Clinic if you suspect you have a rotator cuff injury, frozen shoulder, or any other type of shoulder pain. We offer the revolutionary Manual Capsular Dissection (MCD) procedure and Impingement Syndrome Procedure to help you experience lasting relief. 

Book a consultation with us today!

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