Fraud Blocker
April 1, 2022
Author: Eric

By Rob Parker, Physical Therapist

The rotator cuff is a group of four muscles and their tendons that connect the shoulder blade (scapula) to the top of upper arm bone (humerus.)

At the point of attachment on the arm, these four muscles form a “cuff” that reaches over the top of the arm bone and pulls it into its soft-tissue socket (the glenohumeral joint.)
In addition to other duties, the four muscles in this cuff help with the rotation of the arm, thus the name “rotator cuff.” 

We frequently hear about the rotator cuff because it is one of the most commonly injured structures in the shoulder.  Its muscles are relatively small, and they are active in a very mobile joint through which substantial forces can be generated.

Because rotator cuff muscles thread themselves up and under the bone which forms curved top of the shoulder (the acromion,) they are vulnerable to abrasion and tearing from above.   Anyone who does repetitive overhead lifting or throwing can attest to this sensation of pinching (impingement syndrome) which occurs when the muscles of the rotator cuff rub up against this bony hood (the acromion process) at the top of the shoulder.

In extreme cases, usually due to repetitive stress or trauma, the acromion can cut completely through one or more off the rotator cuff’s tendons, the soft tissue that attach muscle to bone.   This is called a rotator cuff tear, and occurs in various degrees of severity.  Rotator cuff tears are often surgically repaired and then rehabilitated with physical therapy.

In less severe cases, the rotator cuff and its associated muscles can be therapeutically strengthened to pull their soft-tissue down and out of harm’s way. 


Rob Parker, PT, OCS, MS, ACT, COMT

Physical Therapist Rob Parker is medical advisor to Therapeutic Dimensions Inc.

Shoulder Rehab Tools

We Fix Shoulders.

Get rid of shoulder pain in as little as 3 days...even if you've tried everything else and failed!

Whether you are pre- or post-op, the proven "shoulder pulley" method is the most affordable thing you can try to fix your shoulder. 

About the Author Eric

Eric is a marketing technician at RangeMaster and also a shoulder surgery warrior. A severe accident resulted in multiple surgeries and Eric’s recovery was aided in no small part to RangeMaster products. It was because of their amazing product that he could live independent from painkillers and do all the things he loved before the accident (which includes boxing). He lives in Washington with his wife and children, who are the light of his life.

Medical Disclaimer

This website is intended to provide educational information only and should not be taken as medical advice. The information shared on this website is based on research, but is not intended to replace the advice of a healthcare professional. We recommend that you consult your healthcare provider for any specific questions or concerns you may have. The website does not accept responsibility for any harm that may occur from using the information given on this site. Speak to your medical provider about any health issues!

Have comments? Fire away...

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}