What is Rotator Cuff Syndrome?
Rotator cuff syndrome is a common shoulder injury, but not a lot of people could tell you what it is if they haven’t experienced it for themselves. If you said, “shoulder injury,” you’d have a lot more people nodding in understanding. But not as many people understand what the rotator cuff is or where it is in the body.
The rotator cuff is a grouping of four muscles that control your shoulder joint, which is a simple ball and socket connecting two bones. The four muscles are the subcapularis, infraspinatus, supraspinatus, and teres minor. These muscles encase the scapula and also connect to the humerus and clavicle.
Numerous tendons, ligaments, and other elements help the rotator cuff to operate smoothly. For example, a lubricating sack lies between the tendons and the bone to protect the tendons from rubbing directly on the bone and becoming inflamed or injured.
Rotator cuff injuries occur when any of these elements are strained, torn, or otherwise damaged. Rotator cuff syndrome can refer to any number of injuries, such as muscle tears, inflammation that causes intense pain, or tendon strains that limit mobility. Rotator cuff syndrome can be caused by acute injury, or it can be a recurring problem caused by repetitive stress injury.
Symptoms of Rotator Cuff Syndrome
You may experience many symptoms of rotator cuff syndrome, depending on how you have been injured. Some possible symptoms include:
- Pain that can occur anywhere from the top of your shoulder to your elbow
- Pain that occurs at rest, when lying down, or when using your arm
- Muscle weakness when lifting your arm
- Clicking noise when you raise your arm or move your shoulder