CONDITION - Rotator Cuff

Rotator Cuff Tear and Tendonitis

The rotator cuff is a group of four (4) muscles that helps to lift your arm up over your head and also rotate it toward and away from your body. Unfortunately, it is also a group of muscles that is frequently injured by tears, tendonitis, impingement, bursitis, and strains. The major muscle that is usually involved is called the supraspinatus muscle.

Rotator cuff problems are usually broken up into the following categories listed below. If you're not sure which one of these you have, start with rotator cuff tendonitis.

  • Rotator cuff tendonitis is also known as impingement syndrome or shoulder bursitis. Usually this occurs in people 30-80 years of age, and usually the weakness in the shoulder is only mild to moderate. Learn more here.

  • Rotator cuff tears occurs usually in people who have had tendonitis for a while and are starting to experience more weakness. It can also happen in someone who tries to lift something too heavy and feels a pop in the shoulder. Learn more here.

  • Instability impingement occurs in younger patients, typically 15-30 years old. The rotator cuff is irritated because the shoulder is loose in the socket. This often happens in baseball pitchers, swimmers, and other throwing athletes. Learn more here.

The pain of both of these types of bursitis is usually better with rest or even using some heat over the areas of pain. This is the most common type of bursitis. An infection to the bursa usually has redness associated with this swelling and the pain is constant. If you think you may have an infection, please seek medical treatment immediately.

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