Rotator cuff injuries are a result of tendon damage in the shoulder. There are a number of different ways in which these types of injuries can occur, including normal wear and tear as well as overuse due to athletics or accidental overextension. In general, healthy tendons are damaged by an immense amount of force like one would experience in athletics or as a result of a significant accident like a fall.
For older adults or individuals with weakened tendons, relatively innocuous events may cause rotator cuff injuries. These types of events could include something as simple like lifting an object or through a routine movement. However, the majority of rotator cuff injuries occur as a consequence of significant force or from overuse.
Other types of tendon injuries can occur as a result of a lack of blood supply to the rotator cuff tendons. Blood supply is essential for repairing routine wear-and-tear and other types of mild damage. Bone spurs can also be an issue that may contribute to a rotator cuff injury.
Risk factors for rotator cuff injuries include having an age greater than 40, traumatic injury, or engaging in repetitive activities on a consistent basis. These activities can include athletics or fields of employment like painting and carpentry.
There are a number of different symptoms that may be indicative of a rotator cuff tear or other injury. Here are a few of the most common ones we hear about at our office: