What Are the Symptoms of a Torn Rotator Cuff?

The most common symptom associated with a torn rotator cuff is pain in the shoulder and arm. Other symptoms typically include difficulty moving the shoulder, having a hard time sleeping on the shoulder, cracking sounds when the shoulder is moved and tenderness in the shoulder area, according to WebMD.com.

The best way to effectively heal a torn rotator cuff is to give the joint as much rest as possible, ice the affected shoulder, take anti-inflammatory medications for the pain and swelling and participate in physical therapy to help strengthen the joint. If the tear to the rotator cuff is serious, it might require surgery to correct the problem. It's important not to resume regular activities until no more pain is felt in the area, or by a doctor's discretion.

A rotator cuff injury is caused by trauma to the shoulder or by long-term wear on the tendon tissue, states Mayo Clinic. People over the age of 40 are at increased risk of injuring the rotator cuff. Athletes who regularly use their shoulders may develop rotator cuff injuries over time. Labor jobs that require heavy lifting often cause rotator cuff injuries. Rotator cuff injuries can also be genetic.

It is important to seek treatment for rotator cuff injuries, as the shoulder can become permanently stiffened or weakened without proper care, recommends Mayo Clinic. Resting the shoulder is important, but extended periods of immobilization cause additional problems.