Rotator Cuff Tears

The rotator cuff tears include a group of tendons and muscles that are linked to and surround the shoulder joint. Their main purpose is to maintain stability between the upper arm and the shoulder socket, keeping both in place. Typically as the result of an injury or traumatic event, a rotator cuff tear results in a variety of symptoms that can make everyday tasks difficult to perform.


One of the most common symptoms of a rotator cuff tear is a constant, deep ache in the shoulder. Additional symptoms and side effects can also include:

  • Difficulty sleeping, especially when lying on the injured shoulder
  • Arm weakness
  • Numbness
  • Occasional sharp pains
  • Difficulty raising the arm above the head


A rotator cuff tear can be caused by a significant injury or by everyday wear and tear on the area. Repetitive movements can also contribute to a rotator cuff tear. Additional risk factors may include age, participating in sports activities, construction jobs, and having a family history of rotator cuff injuries. The best way to prevent further rotator cuff injuries is to perform exercises to strengthen the shoulder, as well as the back muscles. 


In some cases, conservative methods are sufficient to treat a rotator cuff tear. This can include rest, ice, physical therapy, or anti-inflammatory medication. Possible interventions may include therapy, medication or bracing. If this does not succeed in diminishing pain, injections may be useful. In more severe cases of a rotator cuff tear, surgery may be the only available option for eliminating painful symptoms. 

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