What does a tear in shoulder feel like?

Answered by Stephen Mosley

A tear in the shoulder, specifically in the rotator cuff, can cause several distinct symptoms. One of the most common symptoms is pain. The pain is often felt at rest and can be particularly bothersome at night, especially when lying on the affected shoulder. This pain can be described as a deep ache or a sharp, shooting sensation.

In addition to pain, individuals with a rotator cuff tear may experience discomfort when lifting and lowering their arm or when performing specific movements. This can include actions such as reaching overhead, lifting heavy objects, or rotating the arm. The pain may worsen with these activities and can limit the range of motion in the shoulder.

Another common symptom of a rotator cuff tear is weakness. This weakness can be felt when attempting to lift or rotate the arm. It may feel as though the shoulder is unable to generate the same amount of strength as before the injury. This can make everyday tasks, such as carrying groceries or lifting objects, more difficult and painful.

It’s important to note that the severity of these symptoms can vary depending on the size and location of the tear. Some tears may cause more pronounced pain and weakness, while others may only result in mild discomfort. Additionally, some individuals may experience a popping or clicking sensation in the shoulder when moving the arm, while others may not.

Personal experiences can vary, but I have spoken with individuals who have described the feeling of a tear in their shoulder as a constant nagging pain that limits their ability to perform everyday activities. Some have mentioned difficulty reaching for items on high shelves or struggling to lift objects that were once easy to handle. The pain and weakness can be frustrating, and it is important to seek medical attention if you suspect a rotator cuff tear.

To summarize, a tear in the shoulder, specifically in the rotator cuff, can cause pain at rest and at night, discomfort when lifting and lowering the arm, and weakness when performing certain movements. These symptoms can vary in severity and impact daily activities. If you experience these symptoms, it is advisable to consult a healthcare professional for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.