10 Causes of Rotator Cuff Tear

The act of tearing your rotator cuff sounds painful and it is. Your rotator cuff is a group of muscles and tendons that surround your shoulder joint, which keeps your joint in its socket. When you tear your rotator cuff, you may experience a deep ache in your shoulder, arm weakness, pain when you try to sleep on it, or pain when you perform simple tasks that require lifting your arm above your head. Rotator cuff injuries are often due to repeated overhead motions, which can be associated with certain sports, professions, or actions.

There are many methods of treatment available for rotator cuff injuries. The conservative treatments are favorable to the alternatives and sometimes all you need to recover. Such treatments include rest, ice, and physical therapy. Physical therapy is probably one of the first treatments your doctor will recommend, since it’s noninvasive and can help restore strength to the muscles in your shoulder. If the pain is too intense for you to handle, your doctor may recommend steroid injections, which will often help temporarily. However, these injections could further damage your tendons, so they should be used sparingly. The final option for treatment is surgery.

Athletes in certain sports run the risk of enduring a rotator cuff injury due to the repetitive motions they inflict on their shoulders each day. For example, athletes that are involved in baseball, tennis, football, rowing, and wrestling are at risk because of the nature of their sport. This increased risk comes with certain professions or having pre-existing conditions, such as carpentry or tendinitis. You could even tear a rotator cuff doing something mundane, such as raising your arm against force, performing an overhead activity, or lifting something repeatedly.

1. Raising the Arm Against Force

Known as an acute rotator cuff tear, this often occurs when you experience a sudden resistance in your shoulder. Lifting a box that you were too proud to ask for help with, for example, or twisting your arm in an awkward position to hit your sibling in the back seat of a car, could give you a rotator cuff injury. They both come with force that your shoulder will have to fight to resist. Sometimes your shoulder will lose that fight and the rotator cuff will tear. Rotator cuff injury risk raises with age, so it takes a considerable amount of resistance if you’re under the age of thirty.