The rotator cuff is a set of four muscles that keep your humerus — the upper arm bone — attached to the shoulder socket. It keeps your entire arm stable and is also responsible for the generation of power. There are many things that could lead to a rotator cuff tear, and today we’re going to go over some of the most common causes.
Bear in mind that the eight causes in this list are by no means the only ways that you could get a rotator cuff tear. Even if you don’t think that any of these apply to you, you should still get yourself checked out with your doctor if you notice any symptoms of a torn cuff. These include pain when reaching over your head as well as difficulty sleeping. If the pain in your shoulder persists over a long period of time then it might be due to a torn cuff.
Falls are one of the most common ways that people get their rotator cuff torn. It’s actually quite easy to tell if you’ve torn your rotator cuff following a fall. As you impact the ground, you’ll feel a snapping sensation in your shoulder which is followed by a dull pain and weakness in that arm. If you notice this chain of events, it’s important that you head to the emergency room immediately so that further damage to your shoulder won’t occur.
Catching tears early is the best way to minimize the damage and shorten the recovery time. If you’re unsure as to whether your fall led to a rotator cuff tear, you can perform the drop arm test. All you have to do is raise your shoulder to an angle of 90 degrees and see if you are able to lower it at a controlled pace. If your arm drops down to your sides involuntarily then you are most likely dealing with a torn cuff.