Rotator Cuff Injury
What is a rotator cuff injury?
Your rotator cuff consists of muscles and tendons that hold your shoulder in place. It is one of the most important parts of your shoulder.
Your rotator cuff allows you to
lift your arms and reach up Each year, millions of people in the U.S. go to their
healthcare providers because of a rotator cuff problem. A rotator cuff tear is a common
cause of pain and disability among adults.
What are the symptoms of rotator cuff tear?
Symptoms may be a bit different for
each person. Symptoms may include:
- Pain that keeps coming back,
especially when doing certain things such as lifting over your head
- Pain that prevents you from sleeping on your injured side
- Grating or cracking sounds when moving your arm
- Limited ability to move your arm
- Muscle weakness
The symptoms of a rotator cuff tear
may seem like other conditions or health problems. Always talk with your healthcare
provider for a diagnosis.
How is a rotator cuff injury diagnosed?
Your healthcare provider will take
a complete health history and do a physical exam. You may also have diagnostic tests
X-ray. This test uses invisible
electromagnetic energy beams to make images of internal tissues, bones, and organs
MRI. This test uses a combination of
large magnets, radiofrequencies, and a computer to make detailed images of organs and
structures within the body.
A rotator cuff may tear partly or
fully. Partial-thickness tears do not completely remove the tendon from the
How is a rotator cuff injury treated?
Treatment will depend on your symptoms, age, and general health. It
will also depend on how severe the condition is.
Treatment may include:
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
- Strengthening and stretching
- Ultrasound therapy
- Corticosteroid shot (injection)
- Surgery (for severe injuries or