• August 4, 2022

Symptoms of a Rotator Cuff Injury

Have you been having trouble moving your upper arm lately? Has your shoulder been tender for a couple of days? Sounds like you may have injured your rotator cuff muscles and tendons. If you play sports that require throwing a ball or other object, you may be familiar with rotator cuff injuries.

The symptoms of a rotator cuff injury vary, depending on the nature of the tear. People who experience minor injuries typically experience a dull ache for a couple of days. In the case of chronic tears, the pain may worsen over time and tends to be a recurring aspect of the condition. Rotator cuff injuries also usually result in a prominent crackling or popping sound when the arm or shoulder is moved.

Let’s look at the three main types of rotator cuff injuries and their specific symptoms.

Acute Rotator Cuff Tears

When a person sustains an acute rotator cuff tear, the injury symptoms are temporary. They may experience severe pain in their upper shoulder, which can radiate downward and eventually affect the elbow. The pain may be intense if it’s caused because of muscle spasms. If you sustain a large tear, you may also have trouble moving your arm and experience a loss of mobility and muscle power in addition to radiating pain.

Chronic Rotator Cuff Tears

The symptoms of a chronic rotator cuff tear are usually more severe than those of acute tears. They also persist for a long time, so if you’ve been experiencing lingering shoulder pain and reduced mobility it’s probably because of a chronic rotator cuff injury.

People with chronic injuries also experience sleeping difficulties. The pain caused by a rotator cuff tear tends to exacerbate at night, preventing the person from enjoying restful sleep. This can cause fatigue throughout the day.

Additionally, you may experience progressive muscle weakness and have trouble raising or moving your arm. You’re also likely to experience shooting pain when you try to stretch your arm above the shoulder.

Rotator Cuff Tendinitis

Sometimes, rotator cuff injuries result in tendinitis. These injuries are especially common among women between the ages of 35 and 50.

a woman getting a medical examination

As is the case with rotator cuff tears, tendinitis also results in a deep and dull ache in the upper shoulder. You can identify the onset of the injury if you’ve been experiencing tenderness in one of your upper shoulders lately. The pain may also exacerbate over time, making it difficult for you to rotate your arm, move your shoulder, or have full-range mobility. You’re likely to experience difficulty when performing simple tasks, such as combing your hair or lifting objects.

We offer sports injury treatments and pain management treatments at TOPS Surgical Specialty Hospital. Visit our website today to learn more about orthopedic treatments at our specialty hospital in Houston and the shoulder conditions like rotator cuff injuries we treat.

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