SymptomsBy Mayo Clinic staff
Rotator cuff injury signs and symptoms may include:
- Pain and tenderness in your shoulder, especially when reaching overhead, reaching behind your back, lifting, pulling or sleeping on the affected side
- Shoulder weakness
- Loss of shoulder range of motion
- Inclination to keep your shoulder inactive
The most common symptom is pain. You may experience it when you reach up to comb your hair, bend your arm back to put on a jacket or carry something heavy. Lying on the affected shoulder also can be painful. If you have a severe injury, such as a large tear, you may experience continuous pain and muscle weakness.
When to see a doctor
You should see your doctor if:
- You're experiencing severe shoulder pain
- You're unable to use your arm or feel weak in the arm
- You have shoulder pain that's lasted more than a week
- Maffet MW, et al. Superior labral injuries. In: DeLee JC, et al. DeLee and Drez's Orthopaedic Sports Medicine. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2009. http://www.mdconsult.com/book/player/book.do?method=display&type=bookPage&decorator=header&eid=4-u1.0-B978-1-4160-3143-7..00017-8--sc14&uniq=207793665&isbn=978-1-4160-3143-7&sid=1019675117. Accessed July 1, 2010.
- Simons SM, et al. Rotator cuff tendinopathy. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed July 1, 2010.
- Rotator cuff tears. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00064. Accessed July 1, 2010.
- Rotator cuff tears and treatment options. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=a00406. Accessed July 1, 2010.
- Azar FM, et al. Arthroplasty of the shoulder and elbow. In: Canale ST, et al. Campbell's Operative Orthopaedics. 11th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2007. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/207793665-7/1019679443/1584/57.html#4-u1.0-B978-0-323-03329-9..50011-8--cesec24_451. Accessed July 1, 2010.
- Choi L. Overuse injuries. In: DeLee JC, et al. DeLee and Drez's Orthopaedic Sports Medicine. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2009. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/171922449-6/918424682/2079/17.html#4-u1.0-B978-1-4160-3143-7..10014-4--s0125_1247. Accessed July 1, 2010.
- Sports injuries. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/sports_injuries/. Accessed July 1, 2010.
- Laskowski ER (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. July 8, 2010.