The rotator cuff is a group of muscles and tendons that surround the shoulder joint, keeping the head of the upper arm bone firmly stable within the shallow socket of the shoulder.

Rotator cuff injuries are common and increase in frequency with age. They are most often caused by progressive wear and tear of the tendon tissue over time. Repetitive overhead activity or prolonged bouts of heavy lifting can irritate or damage the tendon. The rotator cuff can also be injured in a single incident during falls or accidents. In this case see your doctor immediately.

The pain associated with a rotator cuff injury may:

Be a dull ache deep in the shoulder that worsens at night
Disturb sleep
Make it difficult to comb your hair or reach behind your back
Be accompanied by arm weakness
Some rotator cuff injuries don’t cause pain.

Risk factors

The following factors may increase the risk of having a rotator cuff injury:

Age – The risk of a rotator cuff injury increases with age. Rotator cuff tears are most common in people older than 60.
Some occupations. Jobs that require repetitive overhead arm motions, such as carpentry or house painting, can damage the rotator cuff over time.

Certain sports – Some types of rotator cuff injuries are more common in people who participate in sports like baseball, tennis and weight-lifting.

Family history – There may be a genetic component involved with rotator cuff injuries as they appear to occur more commonly in certain families.

We treat rotator cuff-related problems with massage therapy, osteopathy, and acupuncture.