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Postmenopausal Women Might Have Rotator Cuff Tears and Not Know It

Italian researchers studying women before and after menopause found postmenopasual women had nearly three times the number of asymptomatic rotator cuff tears compared to premenopausal women.

This finding, published June 10, 2013 online in the journal Menopause, could present an opportunity to prevent what could later become symptomatic, painful shoulders among women, the researchers say.

The researchers studied 110 women ages 44 and older who had regular periods and 122 women who had not had a menstrual period for two to seven years. All of the women were free of shoulder pain or shoulder problems.

They found 3.1 percent of the women in the premenopausal group had asymptomatic rotator cuff tears compared to 8.9 percent in the menopausal group. In both groups, women were more likely to have the tears if they had high body mass index levels and low HDL, or good cholesterol, levels. These findings are in line with research that already shows obesity, high cholesterol and diabetes might lead to tendon degeneration, according to the authors.

An ultrasound exam and blood test to detect hormone, cholesterol, glucose and other levels could help uncover the problem before symptoms start and tears progress.

For more information about what physical therapy can do to prevent shoulder injuries, as well as rehabilitate injured shoulders and shoulders after surgery, contact A Physical Therapist, Inc.

A Physical Therapist, Inc., is a one-on-one physical therapy clinic in Delray Beach, Fla., and Harrisburg, Penn. For patients in Palm Beach County, A Physical Therapist, Inc., is easily accessible from Boca Raton or Boynton Beach. For patients in Dauphin County, A Physical Therapist, Inc., is easily accessible from Hershey and Marysville.

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