In many people with underlying rotator cuff injury, they can often have no pain or limitation of motion though they can have inflammation or early injury to their rotator cuff resulting from degeneration with chronic overuse from repeated usage. These patients often present only after an injury, like a fall which causes a tear in the already injured rotator cuff.
When there is a tear in the rotator cuff , the most common symptom is pain in the shoulder especially when lifting the arm. Pain may be experienced when you reach up to comb the hair, or bend the arm back to wear a piece of clothing.
You can also experience weakness, and tenderness in the shoulder and pain when sleeping on affected arm. The shoulder can also experience a loss of range of motion. With a large tear, there can be continuous pain and muscle weakness.
In cases of a complete tear of the rotator cuff, there is likelihood that you may completely be unable to lift the arm.
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