Rotator Cuff Injury


How did you injure your rotator cuff? Tell us about your injury. Submit Your Comment

Comment from: Denise, 45-54 (Patient) Published: March 31

Eight days ago I was weeding my yard and injured my rotator cuff. Two days later my shoulder blade, shoulder and upper forearm started hurting. Well, now my shoulders are not hurting, it is my forearm and the top of my arm. I can't even lift it from my body, I'm holding it real tight and if it’s been throbbing right now. I just don't know what it could be, I know it's not a heart attack, but it is killing me literally.

Comment from: Stic, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: March 13

I have sustained two supraspinatus tears in the rotator cuff; one in 2016 and the other in 2019. Both the same arm, and both from assaults by the same 'client' at work! My employer has attempted to claim there was no assault (even though it was witnessed), and the 3rd party insurer is trying to claim there is no assault related injury and that it is non work related calcific tendinosis... completely at odds with the assault and ultrasound/x-ray results!

Comment from: a37foxtrot, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: February 18

I completely annihilated my shoulder in a severe motocross dirt bike crash. I crashed at a speed of approximately 70 mph. I landed on my left shoulder which absorbed all of the initial impact of the fall. I tore my rotator cuff across the entire circumference and all 4 ligaments and tendons were torn from the bone. This is the most painful injury I have ever sustained in my life and this will probably change my life forever. I'm 39 and very healthy/athletic. I have never had a surgery prior to this.

Comment from: Joyce, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: January 29

I injured my rotator cuff in a very hard fall, landing on my hand. I recovered, but not fully, resulting in a livable chronic pain with certain motions. After water exercises daily (30 minutes) for 3 months specially for that shoulder, the pain was completely gone. After stopping the exercises (pool got too cold) for 1 month the pain returned.

Comment from: Crystal, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: January 03

I fell on ice, put my arm down to break the fall, and injured my rotator cuff. Now I can’t lift my right arm, if I move 2 inches pain shoots in my shoulder down my arm. I had an MRI yesterday but the doctor told me to come back in 2 weeks. I can’t live like this for 2 weeks, I don’t know what to do.

Comment from: Monica , 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: April 16

Three days ago I slid and fell while walking on a wet tiled floor at home. I got pain in my left arm and couldn’t lift it above my head. I think my rotator cuff is injured.

Comment from: Joseph, 25-34 Male (Patient) Published: March 03

I believe I injured my rotator cuff by bench pressing too much. My lower trapezium hurts.

Comment from: Tada, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: October 07

I'm a 66-year-old woman. I'm not really sure how I injured my rotator cuff. I helped my husband move a large sized bunk bed, and think that's what started the problem. I had a few hints of pain but no big event. Then a few weeks after that, I went to the gym and noticed pain while using the overhead press. It got increasingly worse after that. It's been 4 months now, and I've had 2 cortisone shots. I'm hoping to get rid of symptoms with physical therapy, and to avoid the surgery.

Comment from: Kent, 35-44 Male (Caregiver) Published: July 16

Hit by truck I have a torn rotor cuff and also broke my leg. I have a rod in my right leg, head injuries, and 60 staples on my side.

Comment from: Culver25, 19-24 Male (Patient) Published: June 26

I injured my rotator cuff doing a behind the neck overhead press, which caused pain radiating from the side of my shoulder to the brachial side of my arm. I often feel pain in my elbow, especially when doing bench press. I am not sure how long it will take to heal.

Comment from: Surocker, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: June 18

I am a keen gardener but unfortunately I am getting older, 69 years old. My rotator cuff injury was from working too hard on heavy jobs in the garden. Moving large terracotta pots, using a heavy motor mower with a pull cord for the starter, carrying large crates of heavy plants, and removing tree roots. The discomfort built up over a couple of months. I thought the aches and pains in both shoulders were just me building up strength till I had a couple of nights of acute pain and had to rush to a physiotherapist.


Medically speaking, the term "myalgia" refers to what type of pain? See Answer
Comment from: Ruby, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: May 29

I was taking photographs of a sporting event holding a heavy camera in front of my face for 4 hours. I think this caused the rotator cuff injury. My shoulder has now been extremely painful for 7 months.

Comment from: Will, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: January 08

I was digging out a stump using shovel, ax, and maul. Too much swinging and banging of the tools on my arm I guess. But my rotator cuff injury didn't start hurting until I stopped for the day.

Comment from: Maria, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: November 30

I fell backwards in the driveway on ice and put my arm backwards to hold myself from hitting my head on the ground. Now I have a lot of shoulder pain and cannot lift my arm at all. I think I have injured my rotator cuff.

Comment from: Tulafitz, 65-74 Female (Caregiver) Published: September 05

I have Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, hypermobility type. I am female, 71 years old. I rolled over in my sleep onto my right side and my shoulder dislocated. Diagnoses via MRI was rotator cuff tear and biceps tendinitis.

Comment from: Kevin, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: August 02

I injured my rotator cuff when I fell on my hand palm down with all my weight on it. Now I cannot lift my arm past my waist. I have to use my other arm to lift my arm up. I have extreme pain in my upper arm and lower arm, I can only move my forearm.

Comment from: MiMi, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: July 12

I had a cardiac stent placed, was on the stretcher and had both hands on the stretcher trying to scoot up. Suddenly two other nurses and I heard a popping noise and of course I felt it in my right shoulder. I couldn't move that arm for 24 hours, had to use my left arm to position the right arm. I had an x-ray and was told it was a frozen shoulder. I had an appointment to see the orthopedist, had an MRI, and was told I had a 3 inch tear in my rotator cuff, so will need surgery.

Comment from: Unlucky, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: June 19

I took Levaquin for a sinus infection that would not clear after a course of cephalosporin, and had two complete rotator cuff tears with retraction that could not be surgically repaired shortly afterwards. My other shoulder had a rotator cuff tear that was successfully repaired years ago. I also have developed at different times, bilateral Achilles tendon ruptures and two herniated discs after fluoroquinolone usage. Great antibiotics, but need more research to see if this side effect can be prevented or minimized. I am now retired on disability.

Comment from: Don, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: June 18

I was riding my bike. When I came to a stop to get off, my left foot got stuck in the toe clip and I fell to my left side. I instinctively put my left arm out to brace my fall. I scraped some skin on my elbow which is fine but I cannot lift my arm from the shoulder, I think I have injured my rotator cuff.

Comment from: ForearmShoulder, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: June 01

I was using a pallet jack inside our transfer truck to pull a 2200 pound pallet of soil to the front of truck so another could be loaded behind it. The trucks metal floor was wet from rainwater, and the pallet weight tilted the bed rearward. I slipped and my legs went forward out from under me. I was pulling with both arms and as I fell, the pallet yanked both my arms, shoulders, and neck and I sustained a rotator cuff injury. It's been two months of unrelenting pain in mostly right shoulder, and forearm.

Comment from: caring wife, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: May 09

I have a bad back, and my husband needed help lifting his heavy motorcycle off the ground. He lifted it halfway off the ground, and I used my right arm to help lift the cycle all the way up. I did not use my back to lift it so all the weight was used in my upper right arm to lift the bike, and I injured my arm trying to help out. One year later I have a knife like pain in my upper right arm with rotator cuff pain and stiffness!

Comment from: Debra R, 55-64 (Patient) Published: May 08

Crossing in a parking lot at night, I didn't see a huge hole because it was black, and so was the parking lot. The hole measured 3 ft. 4 in. long, 3 ft. 4 in. wide 8 in. deep. I stepped into it and my right knee hit the surface of the parking lot going down, and my right hand and arm shoulder took all of my weight to prevent me from going down flat. I have 2 of 4 tendons in my rotator cuff completely ripped.


Pain Management: Surprising Causes of Pain See Slideshow
Comment from: dmdave, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: May 04

I had a car accident 40 years ago with at least a bad AC (acromioclavicular) separation but had other injury that took precedent so I was put in a sling and nothing was ever done to the shoulder and the rotator cuff injury. I was 17 at the time and healed quickly but the shoulder has bothered me over the years. I was an amateur kickboxer and surfer and at the 20 year mark I sough x-rays and physical therapy due to clicking while surfing. About 3 months ago at 56 I injured it doing some martial arts and it has caused noted atrophy in the muscles around the rear of my right deltoid. I had acupuncture and did qigong while waiting for a physical therapist. I am not undergoing physical therapy and have improvement but I still feel I have significantly less strength in my right. I have mobility, but I think that is due to my body adjusting for it over the years.

Comment from: Jamie, 55-64 Male (Caregiver) Published: March 20

I tore my rotator cuff about a year ago whilst lifting a heavy weight (60 kg) at home. I had bruising and a large swelling under my armpit and extreme shooting pain when lifting my arm up or when making a quick movement. I decided not to have surgery and was pleased that swelling and pain eventually went away after 11 months and now about a year later my arm is 100 percent better. During the recovery period I took paracetamol and aspirin only when pain was extreme. I am glad I opted to wait rather than go for surgery and was able to drive and carry out daily tasks soon after injury happened. Lucky that my job did not involve heavy lifting so I am able to work on.

Comment from: Megan, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: December 15

I tore my rotator cuff two years back. I was in gym class and had someone fall on my shoulder and I felt something that I can't describe. I was reluctant to get it looked at because I have had bad luck with doctors before. A few days later I was icing my shoulder and someone told me to go to the hospital because it looked dislocated. I went and they did an x-ray and ultrasound which both showed up normal, and I had been told I had bruised it and would be fine in a month or so and to just take it easy. A year and a half after that I finally went to another doctor and was told that I had in fact torn my rotator cuff. I am slowly getting better but it is slow, especially since I hadn't gotten help for so long.

Comment from: cheulkar, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: June 06

My wife was bedridden for long. I had to lift her many times a day. Seven months back when she was terminally ill I had chikungunya. I had to overstrain, travel, and treatment was delayed. All joints were paining. Left shoulder pain caused by my rotator cuff injury could not be cured till date. Medicines (Inmecin, Saaz, Pantocid, and pain killers) have not helped.

Comment from: RotatorErik, 19-24 Male (Patient) Published: May 23

I injured my shoulders a few years back. I was just getting into training in the gym and was really excited. So I was working out at least 4 or 5 days a week. Oh and I loved bench-pressing; the one exercise I don’t recommend to anyone anymore to do alone and without supervision, because of that I was out of the gym for 1.5 years. I injured my rotator cuff in both my shoulders, went to see various doctors, and got a lot of treatment that didn’t do anything for me. Then started researching about home remedies and exercises I could do by myself. This really changed my life in a matter of 2 months, I could do all sorts of things I could not in the past, including bench-pressing again!

Comment from: eliduc, 75 or over Male (Patient) Published: May 17

Five years ago I suffered a rotator cuff injury from being pulled out of the water while water skiing. I had the usual symptoms; loss of motion, pain when lifting the arm, pain when sleeping. I hung that arm off the side of the bed. I also had a catching of the shoulder joint and an audible click when reaching to the side at shoulder length. I ignored it for years. Then I started working out with weight machines at the gym for what was diagnosed as moderate arthritis in the vertebrae in my upper neck on the opposite side of the cuff injury. I was doing mostly shoulder and bicep exercises and two sets of shoulder shrugs with 55 lb. barbells. The rotator cuff improved dramatically. About three months ago my wife and I began playing pickle ball which is similar to tennis but not as strenuous. The cuff injury was to the dominant arm. All the rotator cuff problems disappeared completely until my horse fell down with me two weeks ago and I slammed the shoulder hard on the ground. I had an MRI and have been diagnosed with a complete rotator cuff tear and a less serious tear in the upper bicep muscle. I am scheduled to see an orthopedic physician. At first I couldn't lift my arm in front of me higher than my waist. After a week in a sling I began walking two miles a day and swinging the arm in front of me as I walked lifting it higher and higher as I was able. I could lift it as high as my head after only a few days but I cannot maintain it there for more than a few seconds. The weird thing is that I have experienced almost no pain, only when I lift my arm and then it is not a sharp pain, more of a strain. I take Pradaxa. I'm thinking it acted as an anti-inflammatory medicine. I never get headaches either. I am wondering if the cuff tear is the old injury and the bicep tear is a large part of the problem.

Comment from: Pontiac, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: October 12

In 2012 I was in a roll-over car accident, 25 to 30 mph (embarrassed to say no seat belt; I was a passenger trying to swish mosquitoes out the window). As we rolled and landed on the roof, I concentrated on not letting my neck break as I landed on the back of my neck with head forced forward and down with both arms extended up and then forced back. For the next few months my shoulder and back were extremely sore with muscle pain; I thought I would heal. I finally went to the (Veterans Affairs) VA for shoulder and neck pain. For almost a year I got an MRI, physical therapy and eventually acupuncture. She proceeded to use electro-acupuncture that caused my neck muscles to painfully spasm; it was excruciating, she indicated that the pain was normal and that it would take several treatments. I never went back to her. Eventually I stopped using my arm and the pain got better. But after several months, when the weather got warm, I stressed my shoulder and the pain returned. When I returned to the doctor, I finally realized that my doctors were only focused on my neck (C 5) and that the original MRI had not included my shoulder! A new MRI showed tendinitis, but by the time I got in to see the orthopedist, I had switched to desk work and the pain had gotten better. So we decided to wait and see. This June my shoulder started hurting badly. I was given a 6 day treatment of prednisone, it helped greatly with all the pain associated with my neck including radiating pain down my arms, but my shoulder pain persisted mostly at night. A week after my last dose of prednisone I had what is known as steroid psychosis. I almost killed myself and felt like I was losing my mind; the most frightening experience of my life. I returned to the VA requesting an orthopedist and was sent to physical therapy which hurt my shoulder quite a bit. The pain is ridiculously bad at times, and my life is affected in every way. I haven't been able to sleep well for 2 months. I am getting gut pain from all the Tylenol and ibuprofen. I am able to get through my days only because I stay busy. Nights are the worst. I see a shoulder specialist in 3 days; it has been 3 years since the accident.

Comment from: ayeinfidel, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: July 01

I was cutting a branch off a tree. The limb was starting to give, I heard it starting to crack, I knew the branch was ready to snap, so I tied a rope around the limb and got off the ladder. I tugged at the branch just a little bit and the branch threw me back hard, and it was very heavy. I landed on my elbow, and I was in pain at the shoulder. I immediately went to take a hot shower to see if that would help reduce the pain. I got it x-rayed and sure enough, I do have an out of socket rotator cuff injury. I have limited movement of my shoulder, but I can move it if I try. I ignore the pain. I take two NSAIDs in the morning, no other pain killers. I won't chance any surgery. I can no longer do bench presses though!

Comment from: TjRjn, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: February 02

I injured my rotator cuff whilst working in the dive industry. We had many novice divers all needing their weight belts, (typically 6 to 8 kg) put on and taken off. We also needed to collect them regularly where they were dropped in the water, sometimes 3 to 4 belts at a time, many times per day for weeks.

Comment from: devildog, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: February 02

I fell Christmas Eve, heard a snap in my upper arm, didn't want to go to hospital, and kept putting off going to general physician (GP). Weeks later the pain made me go to the GP, had x-ray, and was told I had fracture. I went to a fracture clinic and was told it had most probably healed but I have got rotator cuff injury and have to have physiotherapy. Wish I had gone straight away.

Comment from: Zellie, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: December 29

A year or so ago, a friend of mine was hosting a little house party. Well, a few of us girls decided to have fun and swing on the pole that he had in his basement. I accidentally flew off the pole and landed on my hands, damaging my right rotator cuff. I thought this would eventually heal itself, but no such luck. I am now treating this with physical therapy. Lesson learned!

Comment from: GeneM, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: June 09

I was pitching batting practice, to 12 year olds when I injured my rotator cuff. I didn't feel any immediate pain, but the next day I was sore. It's been three weeks now, and am still in pain, it is worse at night when trying to sleep. I have lots of pain trying to lift my arm out to the side.

Comment from: deputydog205, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: April 20

I have worked as a dog handler for the last fifteen years. While working a check point in December 2013, my dog went one direction I went the other and ended up with a 100 percent tear of my rotator cuff. It’s been over a year since the surgery and I am still having problems.

Comment from: blippo, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: February 24

I hurt my rotator cuff shoveling snow. I have a shovel that pushes the snow instead of lifting the snow. I pushed the shovel using my arm and shoulder instead of with the whole body leaning on the shovel. As I was pushing the shovel it felt like my whole shoulder popped out of the socket! It has been day 3 now and I still have pain in my left shoulder.

Comment from: Lucky, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: February 03

I stubbed my left foot into an uneven portion of asphalt on a residential street. I flew up and landed on my right shoulder and a portion of the right side of my clavicle trying to avoid a full face contact with the street and injured my rotator cuff.

Comment from: paulinej, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: July 29

I am 43 and confined to a wheelchair. I have a large tear and a bursa in my left shoulder from constantly transferring in and out of my wheelchair. I have had 4 years of pain, limited movement, heavy painkillers, physiotherapy, 3 steroid injections that haven’t worked, and am now awaiting surgery. I also have the same damage to the right shoulder after being injured in a bus accident, same treatment except 2 steroid injections, and also awaiting surgery. It's bad enough damaging 1 shoulder, but to damage 2 and be confined to a wheelchair is a nightmare. I am in so much pain, especially at night, where I often cry myself to sleep.

Comment from: Fay , 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: September 26

Two horses were after a bag of carrots and I was pushed over hitting my shoulder and scraping my elbow, and injured the rotator cuff.

Comment from: Jeff, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: April 02

I tore my rotator cuff shoveling snow.

Comment from: Shoty, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: December 05

I was at the casino and fell off the bed. It broke and went to the side. I hit my shoulder when I fell hard and my shoulder is killing me. I never had one problem with my shoulder, I have been in a wheelchair 23 years not once have I had pain in my shoulder. I think I have injured my rotator cuff.

Comment from: Jeff, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: August 16

My rotator cuff is injured from normal wear and tear; also I am diabetic.

Comment from: Ruth, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: August 15

I moved in with my mom to help her and 2 months later she told me to move out (elderly woman with dementia and Alzheimer's), so all that moving hurt my arm and my rotator cuff, and my mom hurt my heart.

Comment from: Guttergirl61, 25-34 (Patient) Published: July 11

Having expressed my views to a police officer, my arm was pushed up my back very forcefully, which injured my rotator cuff.

Comment from: Eeyore74, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: May 31

I was about to walk my dog. I missed a step and fell straight on my shoulder and injured my rotator cuff.

Comment from: Frank, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: February 21

I have been having some pain and discomfort for the past few years due to 50 years of repetitive physical work and use of left shoulder and arm. I recently slipped down the stairs and trying to brace myself with my left arm, I twisted my left arm backwards and injured my rotator cuff. Now I can’t lift my left arm at all.

Comment from: Linda, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: May 11

On February 7 of this year I fell and dislocated my shoulder. I went through physical therapy and flunked. The doctor stopped the therapy and ordered an MRI and this Friday I see him at 8:00 to go over the MRI. It is very painful every day and I take either Motrin or Aleve to ease the discomfort.

Comment from: Mema, 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: January 09

I fell on a deck, my right arm was injured, plus my rotator cuff and ankle. The pain is immense.

Comment from: Charlene, 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: July 29

I had a rotator cuff injury with cause unknown. After physical therapy (PT) and steroid injection, I was still in pain. I was 74 years old. I had surgery and intense PT for several months. I have no pain and no lack of mobility. Now, at age 78 my other shoulder is very painful. I will be getting an MRI to confirm the diagnosis and I will not hesitate to have surgery. Just make sure you have an expert orthopedist do the surgery.

Comment from: SkiAbomination, 7-12 Female (Patient) Published: January 06

I am twelve years old and I have a rotator cuff injury. It all started when I skied into powder unknowingly and did a complete roll down the face off the mountain hitting my shoulder multiple times while outstretched. So I went to school thinking I was fine, which I was, until a friend of mine wanted to "fix" my shoulder and therefore forcing a rotator cuff injury. I screamed in pain and astonishment as I smacked his face repeatedly. He deserved it. Take note that I told him not to touch me but yet he continued and did. It wasn’t until my next class that my hand had swollen and turned a deep red. Also I could not write. I was immediately sent home. Now here I am writing in bed with my left hand and in a sling not being able to sleep due to pain and preparing for tomorrow’s X-rays and possible MRIs.

Comment from: 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: December 21

A few days ago, I was shoveling snow. It had snowed a lot, and I was clearing away a 5-foot pile up. I got a pretty good load on the shovel and hoisted it over my shoulder. I could feel the muscles pulling, but by the time I tried to stop, my shovelling arc had already been completed. There was an initial sharp pain, and then some discomfort lifting my arm to the side. Fortunately, I still have more or less full range of movement. I just have a pretty sharp pain when I lift my arm to the side. Like I said, I've had plenty of shoulder injuries in the past. Shoulder separation being the most common. This was something different in that at least here I can move my arm in some directions, where with separations, I couldn't move at all. Not much comfort in that realization, though. Hoping that some rest and NSAIDs will get me back to the weight room in a few weeks.

Comment from: Dee, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: December 21

Last summer I tried to pull up a large ivy root so that a new fence could be put in place. I tore the rotator cuff in my dominant arm (confirmed by a private MRI scan) and have been in pain ever since. Despite repeated visits to my GP, osteopath & chiropractor I can get little relief. As I am 69 it seems I am too old to be referred for surgery. Now pursuing my hobbies such as painting, writing, gardening etc are too painful, so my quality of life has shrunk. It's no fun getting old & 'past your sell-by date'!

Comment from: StephanieLC, Female (Patient) Published: December 16

I damaged my rotator cuff by taking a severe fall as a small child from a climbing frame, reaching upwards to try and grab a rung as I fell. Later I had a number of horseback riding accidents, one of which in particular involved my falling right on my bad arm. Much later in life I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis, but my left shoulder was always worse than anywhere else. It seems I had been putting extreme pressure on my left shoulder by constantly sleeping on it the final straw was when I had a more recent horse-related accident when my saddle rotated and someone grabbed my bad arm to save me from coming right off the horse. I guess all those things contributed to the very large tear I have. Unfortunately because of the large size of the tear, my Rheumatoid Arthritis and the limited range of movement with severe pain I have I have been told it’s likely to remain like this. I began Pilates as a way to release it and this has had some effect though I guess the answer is don't sleep heavily on one side and certainly don't fall off horses too often. I've trained myself with pillows to sleep on my other side now - as for the horses - unfortunately I'm addicted.

Comment from: Kia, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: August 21

I injured my rotator cuff at the gym with weights.

Comment from: shelly, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: September 11

I was involved in an accident when my car was hit from the back and my rotator cuff was injured.

Comment from: Anta1, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: January 28

I initially injured my rotator cuff pulling a book bag and swinging it around in front of me to go up some stairs. I still had full range of motion and very little pain. I was told after an MRI I had a partial thickness tear. Several years later I carried a stack of medical records from point A to point B and I felt a pop and sudden pain in my shoulder. I could no longer lift my arm without incredible pain. Even at rest and especially sleeping at night I was in excruciating pain. I was told my rotator cuff was ruptured and I had surgery two years ago.

Comment from: marley, 75 or over Male (Patient) Published: November 25

I fell off the garden tractor, landing on my left shoulder. An MRI showed a fracture. The doctor gave cortisone shot in the shoulder. He does not want to operate and install screws because of heart and breathing concerns.

Comment from: preciousmoments, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: August 18

I have fibromyalgia, arthritis, osteopenia and bilateral rotator cuff injury. I fell three times on my right shoulder. I went to the doctor and was told that nothing was broken and that there was no need for X-rays. The doctor told me to go home and rest. Back in July, I saw an ortho doctor and was told that my right shoulder was fractured and that I also have tendonitis in that shoulder. I was also told that my rotator cuff was partially torn and that I might need surgery to repair it.

Comment from: Boater, 75 or over Male (Patient) Published: August 18

I’m 82. I spent two days raking and pulling at vines and other growth while preparing an area for planting grass. I hauled off 12 wheelbarrows of debris. I am right-handed so most of the hard pulling was done with my right arm while my left arm guided the rake. Initially, pain was in my neck and shoulders and therapy started with various exercises. X-rays showed nothing. Then the pain went to my right shoulder and an MRI confirmed injury to my right rotator cuff.

Comment from: CheriP, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: January 10

I tore my rotator cuff playing racquetball last night. I had surgery on it about 15 years ago. I understand ibuprofen is good and possibly ice. Guess I’ll be out of racquetball for a while. I'm in major pain.

Comment from: kc, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: July 26

Yikes! I turned 44 on Monday and did this really new fun yoga move under a great teacher and had no problems. The next day, I tried a repeat of the back bend into handstand and my shoulder 'buckled' as I rolled out of it. I tried to move my arm and felt it. Five days later still, I still have a limited range of motion. I’m using lots of ice and ibuprofen, but I fear the worst! Two years ago, I injured my rotator cuff on other arm doing power yoga. No yoga for me for a while!

Comment from: twannman112, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: May 22

I injured my shoulder lifting weights. I just started lifting again and I think I started lifting weights that were too heavy, which caused the injury.

Comment from: verna, 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: April 18

I was bailing water from a basement drain using a gallon jug and throwing it over the side of the driveway. The wind and heavy rain blew debris down blocking the drain, and water was running quickly into my garage.

Comment from: 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: January 19

I work in manufacturing and was at work and it had rained quite a bit that day and the floor was wet (the roof is not in perfect condition). I was attempting to push a cart on wheels that was loaded with about 1500 lbs of material. I leaned into the load and pushed and my feet went flying out behind me and I fell to the floor while still holding onto the bar of the cart. The instant pain was in my knees having fallen to hard concrete. After somewhat recovering from the shock and pain in my knees I tried to lift an impact gun and continue working. That is when I felt the extreme pain in my left arm and shoulder. I reported the injury to my boss and saw a doctor who diagnosed it as a shoulder sprain. Eight weeks later and two weeks in rehab the pain seems to be worse. The doctor now seems to think I have a torn rotator cuff and I am awaiting approval for MRI from workers compensation. Anti-inflammatory medications and pain pills are how I'm getting by for now. The good news is that they now have an electric device to move the carts with just a push of a button.

Comment from: john, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: January 19

I injured my left rotator cuff lifting a suitcase.

Comment from: BRSD, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: January 15

In my earlier years I worked as a grocery checker and I think that after 18 years of doing that, my left shoulder was weakened. In 2006 I had surgery for reflux and when I got home from the hospital I had intense pain in my left shoulder. I was told it was just gas bubbles from the surgery and would go away. It didn't. After an MRI they found a rotator cuff tear. I have to suppose it was caused when they were positioning me for the surgery. Cortisone helped for a while, but surgery became the only option. I am 5 months after surgery and 3 months of PT and still have pain, but I am much, much better and improving still.

Comment from: Capt Ed, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: January 15

I knocked my trailer off its block with my lawn mower while I was trimming. Not thinking, I tried to pick the hitch of the trailer up. It was 250 lbs. Real smart of my. I felt something pop in my shoulder. After a visit to the doctor, I went to physical therapy and it seemed to get better, but now the pain is bad again. I am totally fearing surgery if it can be avoided.

Comment from: notahypochondriac, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: January 13

I didn't realize it at the time, because the sharp pain went away: I was forcing a fitted sheet onto the mattress while on top of the bed--my grip slipped, and the pain was immediate, but didn't last long. Now, weeks later the pain and muscle cramps when I use the arm (non-dominant, thankfully) constantly remind me that I need to do gentle exercises. Putting on my coat when already stiff from the cold is no fun. Thanks for the exercise suggestions--this is going to take time, I can tell. This website is very helpful since I have no insurance coverage right now.

Comment from: keserbom, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: January 12

I fell last summer and fractured my ankle in 6 places. I had to be non-weight bearing for 6-8 weeks following surgery. During that time period, I had to use a walker and also use my arms to help lift myself from a seated position; a lot of wear and tear on 50+ grandmother! The repeated use of my arms probably caused me to injure my rotator cuff during my convalescence. Now I am trying physical therapy and ibuprofen to avoid surgery. I am being very careful of how I use my left arm these days!

Comment from: Reebok, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: January 07

I slipped on black ice. My feet went behind me and as a reflex my hands flew up to cushion my fall. Most of my body weight went to my left side. The result: an injured rotator cuff.

Comment from: Ouch, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: December 29

I have no idea how my rotator cuff was damaged. All I know is that I cannot move in certain directions. It is painful to perform activities like washing my hair and changing my clothes. I have intense pain that shoots down my arm when it is aggravated. A couple of years ago, I exercised regularly and noticed that I could not lay my elbows down with my hands behind my head on one side when doing stomach crunches. I do not have medical insurance at the moment but have started a new job. Once I receive my medical, I will be checking this problem out. It's painful!

Comment from: johnel, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: December 29

I am a 67-year-old female who was caught in a horse stampede in March of 2009. I have been in PT for three months and have experienced a great deal of improvement in my left shoulder and neck. However, the discomfort and weakness in my right shoulder and arm did not respond to treatment. I just had a MRI and two partial tears were discovered. I see the ortho surgeon Monday and anticipate surgery. I am very active and want to continue my active lifestyle. Thanks for the information you provided.

Comment from: JohnET, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: December 17

I injured my rotator cuff lifting my roller-type computer case one-handed into the luggage compartment on the plane. It was heavier than I thought.

Comment from: chiefmac, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: December 15

I injured my rotator cuff while doing bench presses. I stupidly added too much weight for a new set. I knew better, but I let the lightness of the barbell fool me.

Comment from: TEDDYBEAR125, 13-18 Male (Caregiver) Published: December 14

My son, age 13 was assaulted in school nearly two years ago. His right shoulder was injured, resulting in a bone fracture. The bone is healed, but he is having lots of problems with the arm. I took him to a specialist, and an MRI was completed. The doctor did not see anything else wrong, but my son cannot carry anything in his right arm, or use the arm.

Comment from: LJMmom, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: December 10

I injured my rotator cuff from continual wear and tear taking care of my special needs son. He requires a lot of lifting, moving, help with walking and positioning, etc. all of which causes significant, repetitive strains on all different areas of my body including the shoulder area. He is 175 pounds, 6'2" and because of significant low tone he often moves suddenly in an unexpected direction, which causes me to react quickly often pulling muscles in the process. I don't have the luxury of resting my arm either.

Comment from: Brute, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: December 09

I crashed while I was skiing and landed on my shoulder. I felt a shooting pain and I immediately had a limited range of motion. As it turns out, I will need surgery to repair my torn rotator cuff.

Comment from: Tennis player, 75 or over Male (Patient) Published: December 08

I fell with the right arm extending downward on an opened hand (not on the tennis court). The weight was most likely a good fraction of the body weight. Initially, there were no apparent injury signs, just soreness and after pains. I was an active tennis player and tried a few strokes a few weeks after the fall, but it was obvious that something was amiss. An X-ray of the shoulder did not show any misalignments. At this point the arm was starting to feel better. However as I continued doing rubber tube stretching and small weight lifting, the shoulder started to become more painful. A visit to my orthopedic doctor said the rotator cuff was the culprit, and this was mostly likely initiated by the fall. I had a cortisone shot and will continue from there. Also my range of motion was anywhere in the entire right arm hemisphere with some pain in a few angles. I could do this with a one-pound weight with no problems.

Comment from: Ruth, 55-64 Female Published: December 07

In 2003 I had surgery to repair my left rotator cuff. In 2005 I had surgery to repair my right rotator cuff. Recently, while stacking firewood, I reinjured my right rotator cuff. I am 60 years old and also have osteoarthritis. My brother injured his rotator cuff and by doing yoga he has managed to fix it. He has sent me some yoga exercises to do. I am going to try this and hopefully avoid more surgery.

Comment from: SonyaMetz, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: December 07

I was breaking up a fight between two large dogs. One of them bit my little finger through the bone — nearly severing it completely just at the hand joint. During the fray, I had my hands tangled in their collars and went down to the ground face first stretching my right shoulder. I didn't realize the extent of the pain and injury until I was recovering from surgery to reattach my finger, some 4 days later. It’s been 8 months and an MRI shows a complete tear of the tendon on the top of the shoulder. I have constant unremitting pain and have to wait until January to be eligible for surgery. I take Vicodin at night or I cannot sleep from the pain. Cannot brush my hair or put on a bra. It’s too painful! This is a very annoying injury to have when it’s your dominant arm. By the way, both dogs are fine, and they were not trying to bite me. I just got in the way. Note to self and others: Don't break up dog fights. Get the hose. I know better but now I am paying!

Comment from: ouch, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: January 11

I slipped on wet moss. My feet flew out from under me and I fell forward. My hands, arms and chest took the blow. I can't lift my arm (straight from body) to shoulder level. I'm on Naproxen and Percocet. There is still a lot of pain. I will follow up for possible MRI. MRI.MRI.

Comment from: oldfootballguy, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: January 07

While playing touch football I extended out to receive a pass and was unable to make the grab. I actually overextended and this caused me to fall on the turf with my arm extended and most of my body weight on the shoulder joint. The pain was minor initially and I was able to finish the game, but hours later at home I was unable to lift my arm at all even to reach for a glass on a counter.

Comment from: Badjack, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: December 21

I experienced a pronounced popping at the top of my left shoulder when I was loading a 60 pound piece of firewood up onto a pickup truck. The pop occurred just as I was throwing the log upward and away from chest height. There is minimal discomfort, and I feel a sharp pain at the top front of my left shoulder when reaching up with my left arm or when raising my left arm up from my desk at work.

Comment from: bootsy_4564, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: December 04

In 2007 I fell and broke the left clavicle. The bone became displaced and popped up. The first surgery they tied the bone down with some kind of wire. It broke and popped up again. The second surgery, 2 permanent screws were implanted to hold the bones together. My body rejected the foreign hardware and the screws had to be removed along with them having to cut out part of my collar bone. The arthritis set in almost immediately. 2 years later I fell on my left side and went and had x-ray's done. The bone is not broken, but I cannot use the left arm due to the massive amount of pain. I think I need an MRI to check the Rotator Cuff.

Comment from: Bill Bagsby, 25-34 Male (Patient) Published: January 12

I fell hard twice while snow boarding for the first time. I landed on my right shoulder both times and now I have limited movement with that arm.

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