Rotator cuff tears are a common source of shoulder pain. The rotator cuff consists of four shoulder muscles and their tendons. Tendons are strong fibers that connect our muscles to our bones. The shoulder muscles and tendons cover the upper end of our arm bone forming a cuff.
Your risk of a rotator cuff tear increases with age because the aging process causes the tendons and muscles to degenerate and weaken. Rotator cuff tears can also result from sudden shoulder movements or overuse, for instance during sports like baseball or tennis, or from falling. Treatment is individualized and can be both surgical and non-surgical.
Rotator Cuff Tear Symptoms
The symptoms of a rotator cuff tear tend to appear gradually. You may first develop pain in the front part of your shoulder and then it may spread down the side of your arm. The pain may be mild at first and increase when you lift your arm or lower your arm from a fully raised position. Over time, the pain may be present when you rest and even wake you while you sleep. However, some rotator cuff tears are not painful at all. However, it may feel stiff or difficult for you to move. Your arm may feel weak, especially when your lift or rotate it.
You will experience the symptoms of a rotator cuff tear caused by traumatic injury suddenly. You may feel a snap and sudden pain. Your arm will immediately feel weak, and you will have difficulty moving it.