Rotator Cuff Injury
What is the Rotator Cuff?
A Rotator Cuff Injury is very common. The rotator cuff is a key group of four muscles that support the shoulder joint. These four muscles allow you to perform all sorts of movements like reaching, twisting, and raising your arm. The rotator cuff muscles attach to bones of the shoulder. These bones include your collar bone on the front, your arm (humerus) bone on the side, and the shoulder blade (scapula) on the back.
Without these bones and attaching muscles, your shoulder would not be able to perform any movements. They make activities seem easy like brushing your hair, getting dressed, lifting, and carrying heavy objects.
What is a Rotator Cuff Injury?
An injury to any one of these four supporting shoulder muscles can occur. Usually, they are from a direct traumatic incident to the shoulder. They can also develop over time from general wear and tear. Injury to the rotator cuff muscles may result in some degree of tearing or inflammation of the muscle. One of the rotator cuff muscles called the supraspinatus is the most common muscle to be injured. This muscle helps lift your arm up to the side. The degree of injury and symptoms can vary greatly depending on several factors.
- Age (risk increases with age, especially over the age of 60)
- Occupation (repetitive arm movements increase the risk)
- Family history
- The location of the injury
- History of trauma
- The size of the potential tear to the muscle