What exactly causes the stiffness in a rotator cuff injury?

See below. Often times, if there is injury in the rotator cuff muscles there is also can be a lot of inflammation of the bursas (fluid sacs) in the shoulder. This can cause the capsule of the shoulder to get sticky and bound down and can also do the same to the tendons. If a person with rtc injury avoids movement because of pain, they often develops stiffness called adhesive capsulitis.
Rotator cuff injury. Any injury causes a non-specific inflammation response in surrounding tissues. The rotator cuff tendons surround the shoulder joint, which is close to the shoulder capsule. When the capsule becomes painful/inflamed, it hurts to move, and the shoulder tends to stiffen. Keep the arm moving to prevent frozen shoulder, and see a shoulder specialist for additional recommendations.

Related Questions

What exactly causes the stiffness from a rotator cuff injury? Muscle spasms?

Pain, weakness, etc. Stiffness can be a sign or symptom. If truly stiff/loss of motion, then the diagnosis could actually be a frozen shoulder or arthritis. If just perceived stiffness, then pain, inflammation or weakness from a tear can give you the perception of stiffness.
Capsular tightness. A rotator cuff tear is usually painful and can spawn a cascade of undesirable events in the surrounding tissues. The muscles attached to the torn cuff tendon can become weak, atrophied and painful. The underlying shoulder capsule can become transiently stiff and noncompliant resulting in a debilitating loss of motion ("frozen shoulder"). Scar tissue/synovitis can accumulate and block motion too.

What causes the stiffness from a rotator cuff injury?

Shoulder stiff. Shoulder stiffness, or loss of passive range of motion, can be related to several factors. Most common is secondary to inflammation a tightening of the shoulder capsule. Weakness, which is maintenance of passive motion but loss of ctive motion, is due to the tear. Muscle contracts, but if tendon not attached to bone, arm is weak.
Frozen Shoulder? Stiffness by itself is not diagnostic of a rotator cuff tear but rather a frozen or stiff shoulder. Any sort of shoulder injury or trauma can initiate the process of adhesive capsulitis (frozen shoulder). Learn more here: http://theshouldercenter. Com/frozen-shoulder. Htm.

What exactly leads to the stiffness from a rotator cuff injury?

Pain, loss of motion. Will both cause stiffness. As movements of the shoulder hurt, while not moving it (and resting it) would mean less pain but it'll result in stiffness.

Can rotator cuff injury cause back stiffness/soreness? Also after the pain subsides would foam rolling help faster healing along with exercise?

It can. Usually more so around the upper back by the scapula (the floating bone in the upper back) as this is a place shoulder pain can "refer" to. Foam rolling won't necessarily help with a rotator cuff injury in particular but may help reduce some of the increased tone in the surrounding muscles of the upper back, posterior shoulder that may be affected from a shoulder/rotator cuff injury. Best of luck.