Your rotator cuff is a group of four muscles and their tendons -- supraspinatus, infraspinatus, teres minor and subscapularis -- that help stabilize your shoulder. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons states that tears in your rotator cuff muscles or their tendons are among the most common cause of pain in adults. Certain nutritional supplements may be helpful in treating a rotator cuff tear, although always check with your doctor before using nutritional supplements.
Torn Rotator Cuff
Rotator cuff tears, notes the University of California-San Francisco Medical Center, may be caused by trauma or repetitive overhead activities. Your rotator cuff tear may be partial or complete. Partial tears involve damage to some of the fibers in your rotator cuff muscle or tendon, whereas complete tears involve a total rupture of your affected muscle or tendon. Most rotator cuff tears occur in your dominant arm, notes the Center, and are particularly common in people over 40 years of age.
Torn Muscle Supplements
Arnica, St. John's wort, calendula and rue are nutritional supplements that may be effective in treating your musculoskeletal trauma, states naturopathic physician Sharol Tilgner, author of "Herbal Medicine From the Heart of the Earth." These supplements may help prevent and relieve swelling, bruising and pain. Other nutritional supplements that may be helpful in treating a torn rotator cuff include bromelain, turmeric, bioflavonoids and vitamins A, B, C and E. Not all nutritional supplements traditionally used for this condition have been subjected to rigorous controlled research trials.
A Helpful Nutritional Supplement
Bromelain, a group of protein-digesting enzymes extracted from the stem and fruit of the pineapple, may be a helpful nutritional supplement in treating a torn rotator cuff, especially inflammation associated with this musculoskeletal injury. The American Cancer Society reports that bromelain has traditionally been used to help reduce swelling and inflammation associated with a variety of soft tissue injuries. Bromelain may be taken orally in either tablet or capsule form, notes the University of Maryland Medical Center.
A torn rotator cuff muscle may prevent you from performing your usual work or recreational activities. If you are diagnosed with this health problem, discuss all relevant treatment options with your family physician. Nutritional supplements are an important part of a well-rounded treatment plan for healing your torn muscle or tendon. Before taking nutritional supplements for this health purpose, however, review the possible risks and side effects with your doctor.
- American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons: Rotator Cuff Tears
- University of California-San Francisco: Rotator Cuff Tear
- "Herbal Medicine From the Heart of the Earth"; Sharol Tilgner, N.D.; 1999
- American Cancer Society: Bromelain
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Bromelain