Main Article on Rotator Cuff Injury Question: What symptoms did you experience with your rotator cuff injury? Submit Your Comment Comment from: Patty 67, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: January 19 After my rotator cuff injury it was a gradual reduction of the things I could do without pain. I first noticed having some numbness down my arm and into my thumb and forefinger. I went to the doctor and they ordered an EMG to check the nerves in my hand. The results came back that there were no problems of my nerve conductions. I went back to the doctor after it progressed to the point that I could not turn my steering wheel with my right arm without severe pain or walk and swing my arm like a normal person. I went to the orthopedist after a shot of cortisone (which had no effect) and a round of physical therapy (no effect again). Surgery was scheduled soon after. Comment from: rad, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: March 29 I fell off my bed and since then I have been having pain in my shoulder down my arm and right down to my thumb. I cannot raise my hand as it is so painful, if I lie down I have problem getting up. This is now three months I am in pain with the rotator cuff injury, I cannot use my arm for lifting groceries. Comment from: Brenda, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: October 29 I was playing bush bocce and threw the ball overhand. I felt an immediate sharp pain in my right shoulder. I am right handed. I had dull pain on and off for several weeks. However after a month the pain became severe, 8 out of 10. I had trouble sleeping. The pain radiated from my shoulder down my arm into my biceps and at times in the shoulder wing area of my back. I've been to the chiropractor several times over the past 2 months with minimal short term relief. Today I went to my general physician and had x-rays. I will be starting physiotherapy this week. Comment from: Jamie, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: September 16 I got in the car and was in a hurry and reached back with my left hand and grabbed the seat belt and pulled it too fast so the safety feature of the seat belt is of course to stop. So that jerked my arm catching my thumb on the belt then getting this really bad burning feeling in my left shoulder. My biggest mistake was when my shoulder started to feel better I went outside to do yard work, cutting down hedges that were high above my head with hard thick cuttings. Then a couple days after that I started sawing some thicker tree limbs and now my arm is worse that it was when I first injured my rotator cuff 9 weeks ago. I can't lift my arm up or out or behind my back, and cannot touch my right shoulder with my left hand. I have not done anything with my left arm for 2 weeks now. It's going to be a slow healing process. I have not gone to the doctor yet. If my arm is still hurting bad by October I guess I should go to the doctor! Comment from: c, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: September 15 I had severe constant pain, sometimes stabbing. Inability first two days to lift arm higher than waist, and very little side movement. After a few days of resting and icing, some mobility returned to the rotator cuff. I am still unable to raise arm above chest height. I have difficulty sleeping because every position seems to put pressure on injury. Pain in joint is severe and in muscle to elbow moderate. Most everyday tasks are not possible. Comment from: Raghu k p, 25-34 Male (Patient) Published: June 07 I met with a bike accident two months back. I can't even lift my right hand because of the rotator cuff injury and I can't even run. Comment from: noodles, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: September 09 I was riding my bicycle on a two lane road when a motorist side-swiped me and did not stop. I fell on my left side and got road rash to my left knee, left hip, and left shoulder. After x-rays and a CAT scan it was determined that I had no broken bones but I had a strain to my rotator cuff. I have limited movement of my left arm and a great deal of shoulder pain. I am icing and taking extra strength acetaminophen. If pain does not subside further I will be going to an orthopedic doctor for further exam and therapy. Comment from: Jeremy, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: August 13 At 35 years I don't think I should be experiencing this type of pain. I've always been athletic, and basketball and cross country were activities I enjoyed the most. I have never had a sports related injury to my shoulder and now I find myself unable to perform my work duties or even sleep. In 2013 I was diagnosed with tendinitis in my right shoulder. Several shots have been administered since then with no real means to an end to the pain. I am scheduled for an MRI this month. Could it really be that serious without a specific injury to the shoulder! I'm terrified that my career is in jeopardy now. I'm hearing all the horror stories of recovery from rotator cuff surgery. Not looking forward to this at all. Comment from: Mia, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: July 09 I am a 51 year old women. While out with my dog (German shepherd and malamute) he ran after a ball while I was still holding the lead, he yanked my left shoulder then I fell to the ground on this shoulder. This was 8 weeks ago and I have been going to a physiotherapist, who is sure it's rotary cuff injury, which I have to agree with given the symptoms. I have had two x-rays, which show nothing as I know myself it's not a break. I've been referred to an orthopedic surgeon. I'm in agony, can't sleep at night, the usual day-to-day things are very difficult, and I read somewhere that something like this should be dealt with within 3 weeks of injury. I'm on my 8th week and getting nowhere which is really getting me down, am I over the hill at my age! QUESTION Medically speaking, the term "myalgia" refers to what type of pain? See Answer Comment from: GMan2015, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: June 19 Symptoms of rotator cuff injury started out with pain sleeping on my right shoulder, then later when I applied deodorant, I found out I was unable to lift my right hand up far enough. If I jerk my right hand to, say, try to catch a ball, it hurts. Finally I am going to the doctor to get it checked out. I believe it is a frozen nerve, but I will find out. Comment from: ambrerose, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: August 16 Five years ago my knee gave out (just before my knee replacement) and I fell. I broke the fall with my left outreached arm. Right away I had pain in my shoulder which went from mild to moderate. Finally I went to the doctor after a couple of years and had an MRI which showed a torn rotator cuff. Because of my "advanced" age of 59 the doctor did not want to do surgery. He injected cortisone. In the meantime I had a similar fall on ice. Now the pain has continued and is severe. It radiates into the muscles of my upper arm and all the way down to my hand. I am taking Percocet usually twice a day. Although I am 62 my surgeon has decided to do surgery. I will have another MRI next week. I haven't been able to sleep in a bed for 5 years. Can't move my elbow away from my waist. I have burning, terrible pain. Sometimes the deltoid muscle feels like it is knotting up. I just really can't stand it. The doctor isn't very encouraging saying older people don't have good blood supply for healing, but I don't think it could be any worse and I'm willing to take the chance for improvement. Comment from: Barbara, 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: June 18 I am 80 years old and recently started to have severe pain in the upper arm and shoulder area. This is in my right arm and of course I am right handed so it is very troublesome. I had never had this type of a pain before but a friend told me it sounds like a rotator cuff injury. The pain is very severe at times especially when I raise my arm. I have an appointment with my doctor but it is 5 days away and would like to know what I can do to relieve the pain now. Comment from: kittykat, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: March 17 A year ago after falling down a flight of stairs, I broke my collar bone and injured other parts of the shoulder. Now, I have no idea how, I have severe pain in the same shoulder. I'm pretty sure it's the rotator cuff. Because of other medical reasons, I cannot have MRIs. I'm wondering if a regular x-ray will show what the problem is. Comment from: txveekay, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: November 11 I was seeing an orthopedic doctor for the pain in my elbow for which I had received several steroid injections over the course of 2 years. I did have a mysterious pain in my bicep, same arm, that was very bad at times, 8/10. When he started my exam he felt that my main problem was my shoulder. I was shocked as my shoulder didn't hurt. MRI showed a tear in the labrum. Easy fix he said. Scheduled for surgery a month down the road but the pain got worse so I was able to get it moved up. Dr got into shoulder and discovered significant tear in rotator cuff. No clue how that happened. He put a plastic anchor into my shoulder, stitched the labrum and cuff to it and twisted the anchor screw tightly. I didn't know about this until my 1 month checkup when I complained about continued pain and he said "didn't you watch your DVD? Yeah, you had a rotator cuff tear." At least now I don't feel like a total wimp. I'm still in pretty bad pain, 5-8/10. Use a TENS unit and ice. But I went back to work after just 4 days, including driving, and now I'm uncomfortable asking for some time off for healing after so long since the surgery. Comment from: Walker, 45-54 Female Published: August 10 I'm 52 and have been active in sports since 5th grade. I played basketball and soft ball. I have had and ignored this pain in my shoulder for some years but I do remember being in outfield and throwing the ball in field and that is when my pain begin. I never went to the doctor. I can't even throw a rock very far now, it hurts to sleep on my right side, although I can lift my arm but it pains me to do so. Now I'm also experiencing pain on the same side in my lower back. I am going to call and set an appt. to see what may be going on with all this pain. I'm sure I have just waited too long on getting this looked at. I pray that all goes well. I still walk 5miles a day m-f. Comment from: Loreece, 55-64 Female (Caregiver) Published: March 03 I was exercising to build strength in my right arm after the removal of lymph nodes due to breast cancer surgery. After months of vigorous pushups and rotating exercises I experienced severe pain especially near the scapula. I used a heating pad for relief and am now using Tylenol for the pain. I am a health care provider and needless to say I need my arm especially since I am right handed and am responsible for documentation several times per shift. However I will be consulting my physician concerning treatment options for my rotator cuff injury. Comment from: coach, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: October 20 I am an active person who recently retired after 34 years. I have been somewhat tough on my body. I am an avid golfer and play a lot and stay in shape by running and lifting light weights. One day, I felt a sudden burst of pain in my shoulder. I iced it for a month thinking it would heal. I lost all strength in my right arm. I could push away but not pull towards. I eventually lost upward range of motion. I sought medical advice and found out I tore my labrum, supraspinatus tendonitis, and subscapularis tendon. I had surgery and the pain has dramatically decreased. SLIDESHOW Pain Management: Surprising Causes of Pain See Slideshow Comment from: Happypaddy, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: May 06 I damaged my rotator playing golf. I had hit my ball into heavy rough and rather than take a penalty drop I elected to play it. The club stuck in the rough but my shoulder kept going. The sound of the tear was heard by the people I was playing with. This has resulted in me having a lot of pain and being unable to raise my arm over my head. Pain shoots up my arm into my neck joint and I find sleeping very difficult. Comment from: Gitmovin, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: April 01 In April of 2011, I fell when rising from the couch and took the impact on my outreached left arm. Afterwards I developed chronic pain in the shoulder and decreased range of motion which led to a referral to an orthopedic surgeon. An MRI showed "frayed" areas around the rotator cuff but no definite tears and severe tendinitis. It also showed that my shoulder had not formed properly during childhood. Steroid injections have stopped working and I have agreed to have the surgery. I hope it helps. Comment from: Kat, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: November 26 I am a massage therapist, which involves considerable repetitive pressure on my arms and shoulders. I have been experiencing a dead sensation in my bicep, which is gradually worsening and now very painful. I am struggling to lift my arm and it's painful when I sleep. Sadly it's my right arm so very restricting. I have seen my GP who diagnosed rotator cuff injury. I'm taking ibuprofen and resting. Hopefully it will heal soon. Comment from: Juliene74, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: November 14 I am unable to raise my arm above my head and my pinkie finger goes numb sometimes. Comment from: sammy, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: July 05 I have pain lifting my arm above my shoulder. Comment from: LornaG, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: May 11 I recently had surgery on my spine. A few days later I noticed a pain in the area of my muscle in my left arm. I thought it was due to the blood pressure cuff being on my arm throughout my operation, but on speaking to the consultant yesterday at my check-up he said it was my rotator cuff which was probably caused by the way I was positioned on the operating table and that the pain will go away in time. Published: February 28 I have a deep ache in my shoulders. Comment from: trevor, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: February 06 I have pain in my left shoulder and in my neck. I cannot lie on my left side when sleeping. I am waiting to have X-rays and an ultrasound. This is very painful at the moment. Comment from: Painful Night in GA, 45-54 Female Published: January 24 I am a 50 year female. My left shoulder is losing its range of motion. It starts as an ache that is sometimes in the back of my shoulder and sometimes in the front. There are times the ache is a burning sensation that radiates down to my fore arm. My heart is in good shape, so it's not that. I can still use my left arm, but trying to scratch my middle or lower back causes enough pain, where I usually cry out. Sleeping on my left side is out. Even if I roll over on it while I'm sleeping, it eventually wakes me with a aching pain. Sometimes, there is tightness in my neck, on the left side, as well I don't have insurance, and I don't feel this qualifies as an emergency room visit, but it is getting worse. Published: August 19 I was in a car accident and I cannot put my hand behind my back. The pain in my shoulder is unbearable. I just had an MRI scan where it looked like there were bits of bone in the muscle area. Comment from: Sue 219, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: July 18 I am a 59.5 year old female taking medication for osteoporosis, which I have had for over seven years, but which my previous doctor failed to diagnose. My new doctor diagnosed it 2 years ago - alarm bells rang the first time I walked into her surgery and she noticed my left shoulder sitting considerably higher than my right. When she received the x-rays she immediately saw the low impact fracture that had happened previously that my previous doctor "thought" was a slipped disk and never followed up on. The pain is constant and almost unbearable -- about an 8 on a scale of 10. Nothing I do eases it and I am really getting to the point where I want to chop the arm off! Published: July 25 I fell over an armrest of a couch as a child. Long story short I was in the hospital for almost 7 months! I could hardly move until I suddenly was able to move again except my arms! I'm 24 now and feel my arms are weaker as I get older. I can't lift them above my head or outward away from my body. Until this day I have yet to know what exactly is wrong with my arms and to be honest I'm a bit scared! I am supposed to get an MRI done next month wish me luck please!