What is it?
The rotator cuff is the group of four muscles and their tendons at your shoulder joint. They form a cuff around the head of the upper arm bone (the humerus). They help the shoulder move.
Rotator cuff injury can range from simple inflammation to tears of the muscles or tendons. It is also called rotator cuff syndrome, rotator cuff tear, rotator cuff tendonitis, and shoulder impingement syndrome.
What are the symptoms?
It is possible to have rotator cuff injury and not notice any symptoms.
When symptoms become noticeable they can include:
- pain and tenderness in the shoulder
- weakness of the shoulder
- pain when sleeping on the affected side
- numbness and tingling in the affected arm or hand
- restricted shoulder movement
- Rest your shoulder.
- Apply ice and heat. Putting ice on your shoulder helps reduce inflammation and pain. Use a cold pack for 15 to 20 minutes every three or four hours. After a few days, when the pain and inflammation have improved, hot packs or a heating pad may help relax tightened and sore muscles.
- Take pain relievers. Over-the-counter pain relievers.
- Stop doing what caused the pain and try to avoid painful movements.
- Limit heavy lifting or overhead activity until your shoulder pain subsides.
Things to watch out for
GP should be contacted if the pain as a result of an injury, is particularly bad, or there is no sign of improvement after a couple of weeks.