The rotator cuff is comprised of four muscles and associated tendons that work together to keep the shoulder joint in the socket and enable movement in multiple directions. When one or more of these tissues is stretched, torn, or otherwise damaged, the result is a rotator cuff injury. The severity of these types of injuries range from minor strains that require rest and physical therapy, to severe tears that need surgical repair.
People who are physically active -professional and amateur athletes, sports fans, or those who have a job requiring overhead activities like lifting, pulling, or pushing - may find themselves with a painful shoulder that doesn't get better with time. This could be a rotator cuff injury. People with rotator cuff tears have symptoms that include pain when you try to move your arm away from your body, when you lift it or lower it from a fully raised position. Muscle atrophy around the shoulder is another symptom. If this describes you, visit a doctor for tests which can diagnose a rotator cuff tear.