Symptoms of a torn rotator cuff include a sudden loss of motion after an injury, a dull ache deep in the shoulder, difficulty sleeping on the affected area and a loss of range of motion, according to Mayo Clinic. A torn rotator cuff sometimes causes weakness of the arm.
It is important to seek medical advice following a possible rotator cuff tear, as necessary surgical procedures are time-sensitive, notes Mayo Clinic. If the extent of the shoulder injury is not diagnosed by a doctor, it is important to monitor the injury. If the pain lasts longer than a few weeks, it may be a tear, which requires treatment from a doctor or shoulder specialist.
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.