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Rotator cuff tears are a common source of shoulder pain. The rotator cuff consists of four shoulder muscles and their tendons. Tendons are strong fibers that connect our muscles to our bones. The shoulder muscles and tendons cover the upper end of our arm bone forming a cuff.
The risk of rotator cuff tears increases with age. The aging process can cause the tendons and muscles to degenerate and weaken. Rotator cuff tears can also result from sudden shoulder movements or overuse, for instance during sports, such as pitching in baseball or playing tennis, or falls.
The decision on how to treat rotator cuff tears is very individualized. Some rotator cuff tears can be treated with non-surgical methods. However, surgical procedures have become less invasive, resulting in good outcomes with improved recovery times.