Causes of Rotator Cuff Tears

Causes of Rotator Cuff Tears

When an individual’s rotator cuff is torn, they cannot lift their arm overhead or behind their back without experiencing pain. This injury can develop into a chronic condition that causes long-term disability if left untreated. A rotator cuff tear occurs when the shoulder’s tendons become damaged and inflamed, resulting in limited mobility. This condition may develop from various causes, including injuries that result in a complete or partial tear or advanced age when the tendons become weak and brittle.

In most cases, rotator cuff tears are treated with non-surgical physical therapy, anti-inflammatory medications, and steroid injections. Surgery may be recommended if these treatments fail to improve pain and mobility. Before you try out any treatment, talk to a specialist treating a rotator cuff tear in West Chester to determine the right option. This article looks at the most common causes of rotator cuff tears.

Table of Contents

1. Injury

Injuries are the most common cause of rotator cuff tears. Individuals who participate in contact sports such as football, rugby, and ice hockey experience a higher risk of developing shoulder injuries. A shoulder dislocation can damage the muscles and tendons of the rotator cuff and result in a tear. Being involved in heavy lifting may also increase your risk of developing a rotator cuff tear. Falls and car accidents are other common causes of rotator cuff tears.

2. Age

As we age, our tendons and muscles lose their strength and elasticity. This loss can lead to tears in the rotator cuff, mainly if the individual participates in physical activities that stress the shoulder joint. In addition, many individuals have a natural weakness in their rotator cuff tendons caused by the wearing down of cartilage. Many people develop tears in their rotator cuff due to degenerative changes that occur with age.

3. Overuse

Repeatedly using the shoulder in an overhead position can lead to a rotator cuff tear. This type of injury is often seen in individuals who participate in sports such as baseball, swimming, and weightlifting. The constant use of the muscles and tendons around the shoulder can cause them to become inflamed and damaged.

4. Collagen Disease

Some individuals are born with a collagen disease, a group of disorders that affect the body’s connective tissues. In some cases, this can lead to tears in the rotator cuff. Collagen diseases can also cause other problems in the joints, such as arthritis.

5. Connective Tissue Disorders

Connective tissue disorders, such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus, can also lead to tears in the rotator cuff. These disorders cause the tissues that connect the muscles and bones to become inflamed and weak, leading to various problems in the shoulder, including a rotator cuff tear.

6. Bone Spurs

Bone spurs, which are bony projections that grow on the ends of bones, can also cause tears in the rotator cuff. Bone spurs frequently develop as a result of weakening tendons and ligaments. Sometimes, bone spurs will break off where they attach to other tissues or bones, damaging the surrounding tendons.

In summary, a rotator cuff tear occurs when the shoulder’s tendons become damaged and inflamed, resulting in limited mobility. It can come about due to injury, overuse, age, collagen or connective tissue diseases, and bone spurs.