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Rotator Cuff Shoulder Pain

Rotator Cuff Injuries

Rotator cuff injuries are some of the most common injuries to the shoulder. An injury to the rotator cuff(s) is usually caused by repetitive overhead activities, lifting, falling, or a traumatic event. The rotator cuff can either be partially torn or completely torn. Symptoms of a rotator cuff injury or tear are pain, weakness, stiffness, and difficulties raising your arm. An injury to the rotator cuff can limit your ability to reach above shoulder height, wash your hair, ability to tuck in your shirt, and may affect your sleep.

What is the shoulder joint?

The glenohumeral joint (shoulder joint) is a ball-in-socket joint and is one of the most mobile joints in our body. The shoulder joint consist of the scapula (shoulder blade), the humerus (upper arm bone), and the clavicle (neck bone) The rotator cuff muscles include the supraspinatus, infraspinatus, teres minor, and subscapularis which all function to keep the upper arm against the shoulder socket.


Treatment options for rotator cuff injuries include physical therapy or surgery; however, nearly 75% of patients avoided rotator cuff repair surgery by performing physical therapy despite having full thickness (complete) rotator cuff tears (See study below). During the recovery process, you may need to avoid any repetitive activities that may increase your pain for the time being. Your physical therapist will help maintain as much mobility while protecting the healing tissues with stretching, strengthening, and proper posture.

If you need Physical Therapy for a rotator cuff injury. Give Kailua Wellness Center a call today at (808) 261-8181.

Dr. Jun Bradley Cadelinia, PT DPT (Physical Therapist)


Kuhn JE, Dunn WR, Sanders R, An Q, Baumgarten KM, Bishop JY, Brophy RH, Carey JL, Holloway BG, Jones GL, Ma CB, Marx RG, McCarty EC, Poddar SK, Smith MV, Spencer EE, Vidal AF, Wolf BR, Wright RW; MOON Shoulder Group. Effectiveness of physical therapy in treating atraumatic full-thickness rotator cuff tears: a multicenter prospective cohort study. J Shoulder Elbow Surg. 2013 Oct;22(10):1371-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jse.2013.01.026. Epub 2013 Mar 27. PMID: 23540577; PMCID: PMC3748251.

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