What is Rotator Cuff Injury?

The Rotator Cuff is critical in ensuring proper shoulder function. An injury to this includes any type of irritation or damage to your Rotator Cuff muscles or tendons. Causes that might result in a Rotator Cuff Injury may include falling, lifting and repetitive arm activities especially those done overhead, such as throwing a baseball or placing items on overhead shelves.


The most common symptom that people go through is the pain. You may experience it when you reach up to comb your hair, during swimming, throwing a baseball, hanging curtains, bending your arm back to put on a jacket or carry something heavy. Lying on the affected shoulder can also be painful. If you have a severe injury, such as a large tear, you may experience continuous pain and muscle weakness. Some of the commonly seen symptoms are:

  • Pain and tenderness in the shoulder region
  • Swelling in front of the shoulder and side of the arm
  • Difficulty raising or lowering the arm
  • Loss of strength in the affected arm
  • Cracking sound when you move the arm
  • Pain that prevents you from sleeping the affected side.


Any action that involves irritation or damage to your Rotator Cuff muscles or tendons, including the following can cause the medical conditions prevalent for Rotator Cuff Injuries.

  • Tendinitis: Tendons in your Rotator Cuff can become inflamed due to repetitive overhead reaching, pushing, or lifting with outstretched arms.
  • Bursitis: The fluid-filled sac (bursa) between your shoulder joint and Rotator Cuff tendons can become irritated and inflamed.
  • Strain or tear: Tendinitis can weaken a tendon and lead to a tendon tear. Stress from overuse also can cause a shoulder tendon or muscle to tear.
  • Poor posture: Following a poor posture at the office, while sitting on a chair, and sleeping can lead to Rotator Cuff Injuries.
  • Falling on your arm: Falling on your arm can cause damage to Rotator Cuff muscles or tendons.


Usually, treatment for Rotator Cuff Injuries involves exercise therapy. Depending on the severity of the injury, Physical Therapy may take from several weeks to several months to reach maximum effectiveness. At Optimum Rehab, our experienced and licensed Physical Therapists will detail you the exercise and treatment plans depending upon the extent of your injury and its severity. Exercises specific to improving the flexibility of the Rotator Cuff and strengthening of the shoulder muscles are advised.


To prevent Rotator Cuff Injuries, you need to work with an experienced trainer or Physical therapist who can properly identify your areas of concern and provide an effective prevention program. An effective program helps to prevent cramps, stiffness, injuries and help you achieve your training goals. At Optimum Rehab Physical Therapy in New York City we provide treatments to help you heal from pain and provide training for the further prevention of the same.