Symptoms of a torn supraspinatus tendon include a dull pain deep in the shoulder and arm weakness, states Mayo Clinic. Patients also experience pain when they rest at night, especially if they lie down on the affected shoulder, notes the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons.
Some patients complain of pain when they lift or lower their arms or when they make specific movements, explains the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons. Symptoms of a tear that happens suddenly, such as from a fall, include immediate and intense pain. There may be immediate weakness in the upper arm and a snapping sensation. Symptoms of tears that develop slowly due to overuse include arm pain and weakness. The patient may experience pain when he lifts his arms to his side or when he moves his arm down.
In the beginning, the only symptom of a torn supraspinatus tendon is mild pain when the patient moves his hand above his head, according to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons. Over-the-counter painkillers can relieve this initial pain. After a while, pain medication does not relieve the pain. The tear makes it difficult and painful for the patient to perform routine activities such as combing hair.