The rotator cuff is a group of tendons and muscles around the shoulder that keeps the upper arm bone in place. It keeps the shoulder joint stable and allows you to raise and rotate your arm.
Damage to the rotator cuff can be caused by overuse, a fall, or a direct blow to the shoulder area, which can tear the tendons. Over time, everyday wear can damage the tendons and make injury more likely.
Treatment can depend upon the amount of damage to the tendons. In a younger person, surgery may be the first choice. But if you are older than 25, you likely have some wear on your rotator cuff. Surgery may not be the most effective treatment. Your doctor may have you try physical therapy and exercise first.