The rotator cuff is a group of muscles and tendons in each shoulder. It holds your upper arm bone in your shoulder socket. It keeps your arm stable while allowing it to lift and rotate. Too much stress on the rotator cuff can cause a tear. This can be a painful injury.
A rotator cuff tear can happen because of a fall with an outstretched arm. It can happen if you try to lift something heavy with a jerking motion. It can also happen over time as part of the normal wear and tear of aging, especially if you have done a lot of repetitive shoulder motions.
If you tear a rotator cuff, you may feel pain in your shoulder. It may hurt even when you are resting. It may hurt more when you lift or lower your arm. Your arm may feel weak when you try to move it. You may feel a crackling sensation when you move your shoulder certain ways.
Your torn rotator cuff can be treated with a sling and with medications to help your pain. You may benefit from physical therapy. If these don’t help, you may need surgery.