What are some of the symptoms of a torn rotator cuff?

What are some of the symptoms of a torn rotator cuff?

Symptoms of a torn rotator cuff include a sudden loss of motion after an injury, a dull ache deep in the shoulder, difficulty sleeping on the affected area and a loss of range of motion, according to Mayo Clinic. A torn rotator cuff sometimes causes weakness of the arm.

It is important to seek medical advice following a possible rotator cuff tear, as necessary surgical procedures are time-sensitive, notes Mayo Clinic. If the extent of the shoulder injury is not diagnosed by a doctor, it is important to monitor the injury. If the pain lasts longer than a few weeks, it may be a tear, which requires treatment from a doctor or shoulder specialist.

A rotator cuff injury is caused by trauma to the shoulder or by long-term wear on the tendon tissue. People over the age of 40 are at increased risk of injuring the rotator cuff. Athletes who regularly use their shoulders may develop rotator cuff injuries over time. Labor jobs that require heavy lifting often cause rotator cuff injuries. Rotator cuff injuries can also be genetic.

It is important to seek treatment for rotator cuff injuries, as the shoulder can become permanently stiffened or weakened without proper care, recommends Mayo Clinic. Resting the shoulder is important, but extended periods of immobilization cause additional problems.


During the first 48 hours after rotator cuff pain begins, the patient should apply ice to the injured shoulder two or three times per day, for as long as 15 minutes at a time. After two to three days, the patient can apply moist heat to the shoulder.

Patients with rotator cuff injuries should avoid any movements or positions that cause pain. Although rest is critical, gentle shoulder movement encourages recovery, and a patient should slowly move his/her arm through its full range of motion multiple times per day. After a number of days and avoiding movements that cause pain, rehabilitation should begin with light resistance band exercises e.g. internal and external rotation, abbduction and adduction, etc exercises, and increasing the intensity/load over time.