Normal wear and tear
As the tendon of the rotator cuff has poor blood supply, it tends to be prone to degeneration due to ageing. The degeneration can be aggravated by repetitive shoulder movements. Hence this condition typically occurs if you are above 40.
Athletes who regularly use overhead repetitive movements such as swimmers, rowers or tennis players are at higher risk of rotator cuff injuries. However, the injury can also happen through seemingly trivial activities like carrying a heavy load, lifting things overhead or hanging the clothes out.
The rotator cuff can also be damaged from a single traumatic injury such as a fall or a hard direct hit to the arm.
Heavy lifting or pulling
Lifting or pulling an object that is too heavy or lifting in the wrong way can cause the strain or a tear to the rotator cuff muscle or tendon.
Slouching forward of the head and neck can cause the muscle or tendon to be pinched leading to inflammation.
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