About Rotator Cuff Injuries

What is a Rotator Cuff Injury?

A rotator cuff injury is a painful injury that limits the functions of the shoulder and arm. An injury occurs when the four rotator cuff muscles or tendons are irritated and/or damaged. The four rotator cuff muscles include the supraspinatus, the infraspinatus, the teres minor, and the subscapularis. The rotator cuff tendons help hold the humerus and scapula together to enable shoulder mobility.

One type of injury is a rotator cuff tear; this injury takes place when the tendons surrounding a shoulder joint tear. Another injury is a rotator cuff tendonitis; in this case, the tendons become irritated and inflamed.


You may be experiencing the following symptoms from your injury.

  • One-sided shoulder pain
  • Increased pain with movement
  • Shoulder tenderness
  • Arm weakness
  • Stiff shoulder
  • Decreased range of motion

Common Causes

Rotator cuff injuries may be caused by heavy lifting, playing sports, or falling on the shoulder. It is a common injury of a slip and fall accident. Since the shoulder joint has the greatest range of motion of any other body joint, it is highly susceptible to injury.


A rotator cuff injury makes it difficult to performing daily household chores due to the pain. Because it limits the functions of the shoulder and arm, it may prevent you from efficiently carrying out your normal work-related duties. If you do not allow your injury to heal, shoulder symptoms and complications will increase.


The RICE method is usually useful in treating rotator cuff injuries.

  • R – Rest
  • I – Ice
  • C – Compression
  • E – Elevation

In order to prevent your injury from worsening, a sling may be used until your injury has healed as much as necessary. Non Steroidal Anti Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs), such as aspirin or acetaminophen, can also help with the pain and swelling. Once the pain starts to subside, you will then work on strengthening shoulder muscles by using a series of motion exercises; if necessary, physical therapy may also be of assistance. However, most of the time, a rotator cuff injury will heal on its own with self-care measures and/or exercise therapy.

Contact Us

If you injured your rotator cuff in an accident, contact the Law Offices of Michael Cordova by calling us at (602) 265-6700, by filling out our confidential Case Evaluation Form, or by using our online Chat Services.