The rotator cuff is a group of muscles and tendons that surround the shoulder joint, stabilising the ball of the upper arm joint within its shallow socket of the shoulder. Rotator cuff injuries most commonly occur in those who perform overhead activities repeatedly whether at work or for a hobby. However, rotator cuff injuries can also occur over time without any known cause.
The most common symptom for rotator cuff injury is a deep, dull ache in the shoulder. Other symptoms include:
> loss of full movement (particularly raising arm above head)
> loss of function of simple tasks such as washing hair, getting dressed
> pain when lying on affected shoulder - particularly at night
> weakness of shoulder, arm
Initial treatment of a rotator cuff injury is to manage the pain and swelling. One way to do this is to avoid painful and repetitive activities that aggravate the injury. Gentle movement exercises and taping can be used to help the healing process.
Once the pain has settled, rehabilitation of your scapula and rotator cuff muscles can begin and will help to avoid the problem reoccurring and recover any muscle strength loss you may have experienced during the injury.
What is my rotator cuff, and why does it hurt?. Available: https://www.webmd.com/pain-management/what-is-my-rotator-cuff#1. Last accessed 1st Aug 2019.