The most common and obvious symptoms of torn rotator cuff is pain. Pain is often felt at the top and outer or back side of the shoulder. However, the pain can sometimes radiate and it may be felt throughout the arm. The pain will also be intensified whenever the person raises or swings his arm.
In some cases, the pain can be greater during sleep. This is because when sleeping, people often unknowingly put pressure or weight on the injured shoulder. Since the rotator cuff is torn, the person will consequently feel weaker in the arms. An X-ray or an MRI can help effectively diagnose any tear in your rotator cuff.
Another symptom of torn rotator cuff is when you feel pain or you experience difficulty in normal activities. If you feel pain when combing, dressing or reaching behind your back, you might have a minor tear in your rotator cuff. Ask your doctor for further tests to confirm your condition. If you are worried about a tear in your rotator cuff, be mindful of your range of movement. If you notice you cannot move your shoulder normally or have difficulty lifting or swinging your arms, seek medical attention at once.
Unusual sounds can also be indicative of a torn rotator cuff. If you hear your shoulder ‘pop’ whenever you lift it overhead or when you bring it down, there may be an injury to your rotator cuff. Also, if there are cracking or grating sounds whenever you move your arm, you may have a tear in your rotator cuff.
Keep in mind that the symptoms of a torn rotator cuff may appear gradually, especially if the injury is due to overuse. You may have developed a tear but the pain and other symptoms may appear much later and sometimes, when the tear has worsened.
If the torn rotator cuff injury results from a fall, the symptoms may be felt immediately. After a fall or a collision, the person may feel like his shoulder snapped or suddenly weakened. There will be sudden onset of acute pain.
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