• Shruti GOCHHWAL

6 Causes Of Rotator Cuff Pain

The rotator cuff is one of the most important parts of the shoulder joint. It consists of muscles and tendons that keep your shoulder in place. You can rotate and move your arms backward and forwards mainly because of rotator cuffs in your shoulder.

A rotator cuff tear often makes you experience an excruciating rotator cuff pain. It can develop due to aging or due to overstretching or a sudden injury like falling. A massive rotator cuff tear can result in rotator cuff arthritis, which is a serious arthritic condition that severely impairs the shoulder’s movement. Rotator cuff arthritis symptoms include intense pain that progressively increases and muscle weakness. Impaired shoulder mobility is also another of its symptoms.

Symptoms of Rotator Cuff Tear or Pain

symptoms of rotator cuff tear

Doctor examining a patient, Credit: Pixabay


Its symptoms vary from person to person. You can know that you’ve suffered from a rotator cuff tear if you feel one or more of the following symptoms:

  1. Difficulty in lifting your arms.

  2. A feeling of weakness in your shoulder.

  3. Popping or cracking sound during arm movement.

  4. Severely limited range of motion of the arm.

You should immediately seek medical help if you’re experiencing these rotator cuff tear symptoms. It is because if left untreated, it can develop into rotator cuff arthritis, which is largely incurable. Rotator cuff arthritis icd 10 diagnosis code is M12.9. (https://www.icd10data.com/ICD10CM/Codes/M00-M99/M05-M14/M12-/M12.9)

Rotator cuff arthritis surgery is the only option left for patients who neglect seeking medical help in the initial stages of this pain.

Causes of Rotator Cuff Pain

shoulder pain injury

Person experiencing shoulder pain, Credit: Pixabay


  1. Injury

  2. Wear and tear of the tissues

  3. Bone overgrowth

  4. Genetics

  5. Stressful sports activities

  6. Certain work occupation

1.  Injury

An injury or tear of the rotator cuff may develop due to suddenly falling on a hard surface. An injury can wear down the tendons of your shoulder joint over time. Injury can also happen if you repeat the same arm motion during certain outdoor games. It can also occur if you happen to lift something extremely heavy.

2.  Wear and Tear of the Tissues

Tissues degenerate mainly due to aging. Lack of blood supply to the rotator cuff makes it harder for it to repair the tears. It results in even larger tears. Tears are commonly diagnosed in people above the age of 60.

3.  Bone Overgrowth

It is another cause related to aging. Bone overgrowth happens in the elderly. It can lead to wearing away of tissues, consequently resulting in a rotator cuff tear.

4.  Genetics

Certainly families have a history of rotator cuff injury. Hence they are genetically predisposed to developing rotator cuff tears.

5.  Stressful Sports Activities

Stressful sports activities like basketball, tennis, weight lifting if practiced excessively or with incorrect form can result in rotator cuff tears.

6.  Certain Work Occupation

Certain people like construction workers and house painters are at greater risk of developing rotator cuff pain. The overhead repetitive arm motions required in these occupations can make the rotator cuff prone to damage.

Is There a Treatment for Rotator Cuff Tear

surgery shoulder treatment

A treatment room, Credit: Pixabay


Several treatments for rotator cuff tear are used by the doctors to help patients deal with the pain. They are:

  1. Physical therapy and home exercises to strengthen shoulder muscles.

  2. Medications and drugs to help patients get relief from swelling and pain.

  3. Adequate rest for proper healing of rotator cuffs.

  4. Rotator cuff surgery is only recommended as a treatment option for severe cases.

How Can You Protect Yourself from Rotator Cuff Tears?

exercise shoulder

Family members exercising, Credit: Pixabay


You can significantly minimize your chances of developing a debilitating rotator cuff injury by doing strengthening exercises regularly. Strong muscles can protect you from being affected by arthritis.

Keep in mind that rotator cuff tears can easily progress into rotator cuff arthritis without timely treatment. Hence, it is important for you to keep doing strengthening and rotator cuff arthritis exercises to ensure that all the muscles around your shoulder are being adequately taken care of.

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