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If you ever been in the gym or played sports, you definitely heard of someone who had or has a rotator cuff tear or injury. The real question is really what part of the rotator cuff is torn or injured. Many people don’t realize that the rotator cuff is make up of 4 different muscle that work together to hold the humerus bone into place. Without these muscles our shoulders would not have the stability that it has and would be an unstable mess. The 4 muscle of the rotator cuff can easy be remembered as the SITS muscles. The SITS muscles work synergistically to help stabilize the shoulder and also rotate and elevate the shoulder.

 Rotator cuff Tears mostly developed over a period of time due to repetitive shoulder movements. Athletes who are prone to rotator cuff tears include:

  • Baseball players, especially pitchers
  • Football players
  • Swimmers
  • Tennis players
  • Volleyball players


Rotator cuff tears can also happen suddenly you might feel a pop, intense pain, and weakness in the arm.

  • Falling on your shoulder
  • Using an arm to break a fall
  • Lifting heavy weights


What Are the Symptoms of a Rotator Cuff Tear?


The symptoms of a rotator cuff tear include:

  • Pain in the shoulder and arm, depending on what part of the rotator cuff is torn
  • Weakness and tenderness in the shoulder
  • Difficulty moving the shoulder, especially overhead
  • Snapping or crackling sounds when moving the shoulder
  • Difficulty sleeping on shoulder


To diagnose a rotator cuff tear consult your doctor to get a thorough physical exam. He or she will want you to move your arm in different directions to see what causes pain.


What’s the Treatment for a Rotator Cuff Tear?


Rotator cuff injury can be scary but the good news is that many tears can heal on their own. Here is come thing you can do to help with rotator cuff injury

  • Rest the joint as much as possible. Avoid any movement or activity that hurts. You may need a sling.
  • Ice your shoulder two to three times a day to reduce pain and swelling.
  • Perform range-of-motion exercises, if your doctor recommends them.
  • Consider physical therapy to strengthen the joint.










By: Daniel Nishikawa

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