What is it?

Rotator cuff sprain is a condition in which some damage (inflammation, injury, rupture and so on) is caused to the Rotator cuff structure. The Rotator cuff is an anatomical structure responsible for shoulder movement, made up of four muscles and tendons. The rotator cuff tendons, not the muscles, are most often involved in the injury, which is therefore called tendinitis or tendinopathy. These injuries can be caused due to overuse of the shoulder (for example, in athletes) or due to abnormal movement of the joint (for example, in a fall with outstretched arms).

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Signs & symptoms

People with rotator cuff sprain or injury usually suffer from pain located to their shoulder and upper arm. The pain is usually worsening by movement, especially when uprising the arm over the head.


In cases of suspected rotator cuff sprain, a physical examination and imaging tests (such as ultrasound or MRI) of the shoulder will be needed.


Most rotator cuff sprains heal without intervention within weeks to months. Treatment usually includes rest, cooling the shoulder and taking painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs. Physiotherapy can also help maintain the range of motion of the shoulder. Some rotator cuff tears, especially large tears, might need to be treated with surgery.

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

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