Rotator Cuff Disorders (cont.)
IN THIS ARTICLE
A rotator cuff disorder causes pain and weakness in your shoulder. It may be uncomfortable or impossible to do everyday activities, such as 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. You may have pain during the night and have trouble sleeping on that side. Pain is almost always worse when you make overhead movements.
Because of the pain, you may try not to use your arm. And that can cause even more weakness and stiffness in the shoulder.
The amount of pain usually depends on how much damage there is:
Sometimes the pain isn't directly related to the amount of damage. For example, your rotator cuff may have minor damage, but strength and the loss of range of motion may be severe because it's too painful to move in certain ways. This is especially true if you normally make a lot of overhead movements.
Symptoms of rotator cuff tendinitis
In tendinitis (inflammation in the tendon), the pain usually starts gradually, over the side of the shoulder and the upper arm.
Over time, the pain may get worse or you may have constant pain. In some cases, this is because you actually have one or more small tendon tears.
Some people also have tendinitis in other parts of the shoulder. And some people have neck pain from using other muscles to help move the shoulder.
Symptoms of rotator cuff tears
The most common symptoms of a tear are:
Symptoms of a sudden, severe tear include:
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.
eMedicineHealth Medical Reference from Healthwise
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