Symptoms of Rotator Cuff Tears

Janice CarsonJanice Carson

There are several tell tale symptoms of rotator cuff tears has occurred. Knowing the signs is a good idea.

There are numerous joint related issues that can occur to a person as they go through life, but the rotator cuff tear is one of the most common and most painful. The rotator cuff itself is a cluster of tendons and muscles that surrounds the ball and socket joint of the shoulder and it is responsible for holding the arm in the socket as well as for helping lift and use the arm. Since the shoulder is used hundreds of times every day, it’s very common to suffer from gradual wearing down and weakening of the muscles and tendons which often results in a tear. Usually the problem occurs gradually over time, but may also occur as a result of sudden trauma or injury.

Symptoms of Rotator Cuff Tears

In any case, the symptoms are similar and worth looking at so you can identify whether or not you may be suffering from the issue.

Acute:

Acute tears are those caused by sudden trauma like falling on the arm or raising it against resistance forcefully. Symptoms of these acute tears include:

  • Severe pain throughout the arm
  • Limited range of motion
  • Swelling

Chronic:

This is the more common type of tear. It’s caused by gradual wearing down of the ligaments and tendons throughout regular use. They’re much more common among those who engage in overhead activities including mechanic work, swimming, pitching, painting, and more. Symptoms of this issue include:

  • Pain that is sporadic in nature
  • Atrophy of muscles
  • Significant pain during rest
  • Pain that gradually worsens over time
  • Stiffness
  • Cracking sensations during movement of the arm
  • Inability to lift the arm completely
  • Aches and pains over the front of the shoulder
  • Pain at night when lying on the shoulder
  • Pain when reaching forward

Those last three Symptoms are actually early warning signs that the issue may be occurring. Since chronic tears are usually started by minor fraying and then followed up by more significant tears, it’s usually possible to identify the issue early and start trying to prevent it from occurring.

Many different people are susceptible to this type of injury, though it is more common among those who are over 40 since it generally occurs as a result of use throughout a lifetime. Still, identifying the symptoms is a major step for anyone suffering from this type of pain and will help you determine how to proceed with treatment.

 

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