Doc, I Think I Hurt My Rotator Cuff
The rotator cuff is not one muscle but a group of muscle and tendons that surround the shoulder joint. The four muscle that make up the rotator cuff are the Suprapinatous, Infraspintous, Teres Minor, and Subscapularis or SITS muscles. The job of the rotator cuff is to keep the head of the upper arm firmly in the socket of the shoulder.
The cuff muscles stabilize the shoulder as well as elevate and rotate the arm. A rotator cuff injury can cause pain in the shoulder and worsens with trying to sleep. The injury is most common with people that perform repeatedly overhead movements. Examples of these would be carpenters, painters, and athletes that require overhead movements like baseball or tennis. Most of the population recover from rotator cuff injuries with physical therapy exercises that can improve your strength and range of motion. Severe tears or full thickness tears may require surgery.
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