The shoulder joint is surrounded by four muscles and tendons that provide strength and stability, and capped with a bursa, or tissue cushion to protect the shoulder bones. When the rotator cuff is damaged, the bursa can become inflamed, causing chronic, dull pain and loss of motion in the shoulder.
People with jobs that require heavy lifting or reaching or working overhead tend to be the most susceptible to rotator cuff injuries. The risk also increases with age. Acute tears happen suddenly. Degenerative tears, which are more common in older people, occur over time.
What are the signs and symptoms of a rotator cuff injury?
- Dull chronic pain in the shoulder
- Swelling or fever in the shoulder
- Tingling sensation in the arm
- Pain that worsens at night when you are sleep on the injured side
- Weakness when lifting or rotating your arm
- Loss of motion when using your arm