What are the symptoms of a rotator cuff injury?

Dr. Kristofer J. Jones, MD
Orthopedic Surgeon

Symptoms of a rotator cuff injury include:

  • Pain localized to the shoulder that may occasionally radiate down the arm to various degrees (upper arm, forearm, hand, fingers)
  • Dull ache or sharp stabbing pain with any activities that require lifting the arm
  • Pain at night in the area of the shoulder
  • Weakness when performing everyday activities
Dr. John A. Gracy, MD
Orthopedic Surgeon
Rotator cuff injuries make the headlines when they affect young athletes, but they're actually much more common in adults 40 to 60 years of age. Most of the time, people complain that their shoulder wakes them up at night, and they can't sleep on that side. Often, they don't remember a specific injury. The key to treating rotator cuffs is catching them early, in the tendinitis stage. Often, physical therapy, some activity modifications or anti-inflammatories will relieve the symptoms.

Continue Learning about Rotator Cuff

How does pinching of the supraspinatus muscle occur?
Rick OldermanRick Olderman
None of us lives in a home where we bump our head on the ceiling every time we stand up. We need mor...
More Answers
Do rotator cuff tears heal with time?
Kristofer J. Jones, MDKristofer J. Jones, MD
Rotator cuff tears don't heal spontaneously, and studies show that they can actually get bigger over...
More Answers
What are the symptoms of a rotator cuff tear?
Kristofer J. Jones, MDKristofer J. Jones, MD
Symptoms of a rotator cuff tear (as opposed to tendinitis) include an ache or burn at the deltoid in...
More Answers
What is injected to treat rotator cuff tears?
St Francis Medical CenterSt Francis Medical Center
Cortisone may be injected to treat rotator cuff tears. One or two injections may be used before cons...
More Answers

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.