Dr. Mark S. Cantieri • Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine
Rotator Cuff Tears
Rotator Cuff Tears
Shoulder pain often results from a tear in your rotator cuff. Corrective Care treats shoulder pain and rotator cuff tears.
The muscles and tendons that hold your arm bone in place and attach it to your shoulder blade are called the rotator cuff. These muscles provide shoulder motion and stability, so when you injure your rotate cuff it can cause pain and weakness in your shoulder, making it uncomfortable or impossible to perform everyday activities like combing your hair, tucking in your shirt, or reaching above your head.
Most often, you will feel the pain on the side and front of your upper arm and shoulder, especially when you lift the arm or push against resistance such as when you try to lift something. You may have pain during the night and have trouble sleeping on that side. The pain from a rotator cuff tear is almost always worse when you make overhead movements.
Because of the pain, you may favor your arm, reducing the amount that you use it, which can cause it your shoulder pain to become worse and your arm to become even more weak and stiff.
The severity of the pain is usually based on how severe the damage is. However, sometimes minor damage in your rotator cuff may cause great pain and reduce your strength and range of motion dramatically.
Symptoms of Rotator Cuff Tendinitis
Tendinitis is inflammation in the tendon. With should cuff tendinitis, the pain usually begins gradually on the side of the shoulder. At first your shoulder and arm aren't particularly weak but it hurts to use them. Then the pain begins to spread down the outside of the upper arm towards the elbow.
The pain may be worse at night and may keep you awake, especially if you lie on that side. Lifting the arm to the side or to the front makes the pain worse. Over time, the pain may get worse or you may have constant pain. In some cases, this is because you have one or more small tears on your tendon.
Sometimes tendinitis or neck pain can develop in other parts of the shoulder or neck from straining other muscles to help move the shoulder.
Symptoms of Rotator Cuff Tears
Symptoms that you have experienced a sudden, severe tear in your rotator cuff are:
A popping sound or tearing sensation in your shoulder.
Immediate pain in your shoulder.
Weakness and pain when you lift or rotate your arm.
Limited range of motion and inability to raise your arm because of pain or weakness.
Possibly, bruising in your shoulder or upper arm.
You can have a complete tear without symptoms, especially if you are an older adult who is not very active. In rare cases, shoulder pain may be a sign of a more serious problem with your heart or lungs.