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What Are the Causes of Rotator Cuff Pain?

By Madhusudhan Tammisetti

The rotator cuff contains muscles and tendons that connect the shoulder blade and the upper arm in the upper back and shoulder region. The rotator cuff's tendons give shoulder stability, while the muscles enable the rotation of the shoulder.

The tendons and muscles of the rotator cuff are crucial because they keep the arms in the sockets of the shoulder. The rotator cuff contains four muscles that join as tendons to create a cover around the humerus' head. The rotator cuff helps in the lifting and rotation of the arm, so it may be painful and irritating when it hurts.

The infraspinatus, teres minor, subscapularis, and supraspinatus are the muscles that make up the rotator cuff. Bursa is a water-filled sac situated between the acromion bone located at the top of the shoulder, and the rotator cuff. As you use the arm in any activity, the bursa enables the tendons of the rotator cuff to move and slide easily. This bursa may become painful and inflamed when the tendons of the rotator cuff are damaged or injured.

Common Causes and Injuries

Many common reasons for rotator cuff pain include a tear in rotator cuff, falling, or suffering a blow to the shoulder while playing a contact sport such as rugby or football. Even suddenly falling on the ground may also be the cause of the pain. Lifting, washing windows, painting, tossing a baseball, swimming, and playing tennis or golf, are some of the common causes of overuse injuries. Unfortunately, problems may arise as a result of normal aging wear and strain.

A tear in the rotator cuff is a tear or injury to the tendon of the rotator cuff, which is a common problem in the shoulder region. Pain and weakness in the arm are common symptoms, and it's a common source of pain and physical disability in adults. According to studies, more than 2 million people in the United States alone sought medical counsel and treatment for rotator cuff pain.

Rotator Cuff Tendinitis and Impingement

The repeated overhead usage of the arms when gardening, house cleaning, raking, woodworking, shoveling, throwing, and playing tennis and golf causes rotator cuff tendinitis.

People suffer from rotator cuff impingement when the rotator cuff tendons are compressed between the acromion and humerus.

Subacromial bursitis occurs when the bursa, a tiny water-filled sac that cushions the tendons of the rotator cuff from the acromion, gets inflamed.


A chiropractor may suggest using ice therapy for rotator cuff pain. Applying ice to the afflicted region may help relieve pain. It may help in reducing swelling and inflammation.

Chiropractors may also suggest taking rest and reducing physical activities until the pain subsides. Reducing overhead actions and keeping the shoulder area still may help in improving the condition.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Albuquerque, N.M.

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