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This surprised me, because when a rotator cuff is torn, the
tendon (usually some of it, rather than all of it) is disconnected from the
bone it’s supposed to be attached to; it’s torn away.
How could this
sometimes be painless? I can understand this if the patient is still. But “good
days” mean that the patient is using the shoulder and arm, and feeling no pain
at all, despite the torn rotator cuff.
make things more confusing, there are many older patients walking around with
rotator cuff tendon tears and don't even know it,” says Dr. Cleeman, founding
member of TRIARQ, a community of orthopedists and physical therapists.
are MRI and ultrasound imaging studies that have found that a certain
percentage of people have rotator cuff tears without symptoms. These studies
took groups of people with no shoulder pain and no history of trauma and
found that as people age (particularly over 60), a percentage had tears.
Some studies followed these patients and found that a percentage
eventually became symptomatic.”
in the rotator cuff are not always caused by a single-event trauma, such as
during a heavy weight lift at the gym, in which the person suddenly feels
intense pain arise in the shoulder.
do rotator cuff tears necessarily result over a short time period, in which an
athlete repeatedly performs the activity that initiated a small tear, such as
throwing or a particular weight-lifting routine.
tears happen over time in older people, a part of aging, particularly in people
who are not physically fit. The tendons degenerate over time, and a tear
comprehensive strength-training program, especially when initiated during young
adulthood, will go a tremendous way in helping prevent tendon degeneration down
even an intense strength training program is no guarantee against an acute
injury of the rotator cuff.
example, the strongest guy in the gym one day plays beach volleyball.
for the ball and dives into the sand for it, his arm outstretched before him,
palm down, as he slides into the sand.
This is a very potential recipe for a
shoulder tendon injury.
he should work through the pain that continues to persist several days later,
he decides to do some bench pressing, further injuring the shoulder tendons.
doesn’t go to a doctor and continues trying to lift weights, and eventually
suffers a rotator cuff tear. Related content about various kinds of pain: