No pain, no gain. It’s a common phrase most lifters live by. But when it comes to lifting and shoulder pain, it could signal something more serious than the run-of-the mill muscle soreness you’d experience after a tough workout.
One big one? An injury to your rotator cuff, a group of four muscles and tendons that keeps your shoulder’s ball joint centered on its socket joint. Its primary function is to help initiate movements of larger muscles, like your deltoids, says Christopher Camp, M.D., an orthopedic surgeon at the Mayo Clinic. It helps you rotate and raise your arm.
You don’t need to be a world-class athlete—think Olympian medalist—to develop some serious issues with your rotator cuff. Even casual lifters can fall prey to rotator cuff injuries.
So here’s everything you need to know about them—and how you can stop your shoulder from hurting, fast.