The Baseball Observer Feb 2015 vol 1 - Page 18

Understanding Body Part Injury: The Rotator Cuff THE ROTATOR CUFF OVERVIEW Staff Everyone one has heard of one injury or another that afflict baseball players. But most don’t really know what they actually are or where the in the body they are actually located. After interviewing several Orthopedic Surgeons and discussion with the Mayo Clinic, we are giving a simplistic overview on different types of “common” injuries – their symptoms, causes, potential treatments and prevention to better educate players, parents and coaches – in laymen’s terms. This is educational, not intended to diagnose or give medical advice. Always seek medical attention and advice from a qualified licensed physician. The rotator cuff is mentioned quite a bit in baseball – especially for pitchers – but not exclusively. The rotator cuff is a group of tendons and muscles that surround the shoulder joint. They basically hold your upper arm bone in the shoulder socket (see diagram right). Most symptoms of a rotator cuff injury is a dull ache in the shoulder. That dull ache becomes more intense when you use that arm or even just try to sleep on it. There could be several reasons for the ache. Sometimes it’s a tendon that is “catching” or “trapped” under the acromion, the bony arch of the shoulder (called impingement) or the bursa sac could be swollen or inflamed creating pressure. Tendons that are compressed, damaged and inflamed can lead to rotator cuff tendonitis. It can also be a little more severe which involves rips or complete tears of the muscle or tendon. SYMPTOMS Pain associated with a possible rotator cuff injury may include:     A dull ache deep in the shoulder The inability to sleep on the affected side Arm weakness Difficulty raising your affect arm to do things over your head