Rotator Cuff Therapy Exercises

Rotator Cuff Tendon Tear

To understand what a rotator cuff tendon tear is, it is important to appreciate the role of a rotator cuff tendon. The rotator cuff tendons are a group of four individual tendons that work together as the “rotator cuff”.

Essentially the rotator cuff is a single unit but it is made up of the tendons of four muscles. They are the supraspinatus, infraspinatus, subscapularis, and teres minor.

These muscles attach to the scapula (shoulder blade), and their tendons merge together to form the rotator cuff. The rotator cuff runs over the upper end of the arm and connects to the humeral head of upper arm bone. The rotator cuff has two basic functions – arm movement and shoulder stability.

Movement - The rotator cuff muscles are the instigators of all arm movements. They are small muscles whose primary role is to get the arm moving. Once in motion other larger, surrounding muscles such as the deltoid take over.

Stability – The rotator cuff tendons work together to stabilise the shoulder joint. They grip the humeral head of the upper arm bone and hold it tight to the scapula (shoulder blade).

Rotator Cuff Tendon Tear

Classifications of a rotator cuff tendon tear

A rotator cuff tendon tear is referred to by both its cause and size.

Cause can be classified as

  • Acute – single identifiable incident
  • Chronic – overuse or gradual loss of tendon strength
  • Mixture of both – chronic symptoms followed by an acute injury

Size can be

  • full rotator cuff tear
  • partial rotator cuff tear
  • large tear
  • small tear

Why does a rotator cuff tendon tear?

The vast majority of people who suffer a tear in rotator cuff tendons are over 40 years of age. The rotator cuff tendons, like the rest of the body lose function with age.

Some of the elasticity goes and as we become less active they weaken through being underused. The body also becomes less efficient at repairing damage on a molecular level.

This can lead to tendinopathy type injuries. This weakening then becomes a cycle of gradual decay that leads to more problems.

As the rotator cuff tendon becomes weaker it is more liable to damage. This one of the major reasons why you should do some rotator cuff exercises.

Even if you have had no previous rotator cuff problems you should take action now. Strengthening the rotator cuff tendons will make it much less likely that suffer a rotator cuff tendon tear in the future. Prevention is definitely better than cure.

So, let’s look at a fairly typical scenario.

  • Your rotator cuff tendon is weakened, it has lost some of its elasticity, you may have tendonitis developing and it is swollen and painful.
  • You use the shoulder less.
  • The rotator cuff tendons become weaker as they are not being worked.
  • Collagen, the building block of tendon, is laid down without structure and this further weakens the tendon.
  • The shoulder becomes more painful and you avoid using it at all costs.

The above may be enough to cause a tear in rotator cuff tendons but there is often another complicating factor. As the cuff becomes weaker it fails to provide the stability to the shoulder.

The Humerus can “ride up” from the Glenoid Fossa and squash the rotator cuff tendons. The tendons begin to rub against the clavicle above and commonly tear as a result.

This often leads to a partial rotator cuff tendon tear. A complete rotator cuff tear is often associated with a combination of the above process and an acute episode.

Let’s say the rotator cuff is already weakened and then you suffer a fall. The tendons may not be able to take the impact of even a low impact event.


From Rotator Cuff Tendon Tear to Rotator Cuff Exercises

Go back to Rotator Cuff Pain

Sign Up for Your Free Mini Course Now!

Find Me on Facebook Get LinkedIn With Me Follow Me On Twitter Watch Me On Youtube

Search My Site:

Free Rotator Cuff Health & Exercises Mini Course

Just enter your first name & e-mail address in the form below. You'll receive your first issue immediately in your email!

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

Heal your rotator cuff injury naturally with the best rotator cuff exercises...

Available for Immediate Download

Best Rotator Cuff Exercises

Download Your Copy Here Now

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

Your kind donations will keep this Free Website and its related Newsletter going & growing...

Rotator Cuff Exercises Home Page | About Me | Contact Me | Donate | Privacy & Disclaimer | Rotator Cuff Exercises Book | SiteMap

Copyright ©
All Rights Reserved

Return to top | Website design by SBI!