Can You Lift Your Arm With A Rotator Cuff Tear?

Article by Matthew Batch

Can You Lift Your Arm With A Rotator Cuff Tear?

Whilst it is possible to lift your arm following a rotator cuff tear, several factors can influence how well you can do this. The first key consideration is the severity of the injury. Acute rotator cuff injuries are typically divided into partial or complete thickness tears. In the event of a partial tear, you may experience pain lifting your arm, though the movement remains possible. However, full-thickness tears are associated with more difficulty lifting the arm. The second consideration is the change in your function. Your disability will depend upon which section of the rotator cuff has been affected.

Given that the rotator cuff comprises four different muscles and their tendons and the different movements they are responsible for, the change in your function will be specific to each of them. The final consideration is the amount of pain you are suffering. Unsurprisingly, a high intensity of pain is likely to discourage you from wanting to move and your muscles from making you potentially move in ways that aggravate your condition.

For specific shoulder impingement advice, please consult your shoulder physiotherapist.

More info: Shoulder Injuries

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