The rotator cuff is a group of muscles and tendons that connects the shoulder blade to the upper arm. It is composed of four muscles and various tendons that surround the shoulder socket.
The rotator cuff is often injured by people who use their arms in an overhead motion in their jobs or in playing sports. Small tears, strains, inflammation or impingement of the muscles and tendons causes shoulder pain, stiffness and weakness of the shoulder joint. Depending upon the severity of the injury, pain medicines, corticosteroid injections, physical therapy or surgery may be used to relieve the symptoms of rotator cuff injuries.