TREATMENT - Rotator Cuff Tear
Treating the torn rotator cuff usually involves the following:
Control your pain. Over-the-counter medicines or prescription medication is given to help to relieve pain. In addition, cold therapy (cryotherapy) can help to decrease the pain and local swelling. Avoid activities that can worsen your pain, particularly overhead activities, repetitive motions, and heavy lifting. Do not put your arm in one position for a long time, keep it mobile. Your physician may give you a steroid injection into your shoulder area to also help improve the pain. Most orthopedic surgeons recommend that you get no more than one or two of these a year, as they do have the potential to weaken your tendons (every person is different, however, and you should check with your doctor).
Regain motion. It is critical to regain the motion lost as a consequence of having this tear of the cuff muscle/tendon. Our Deluxe Shoulder Therapy Set can help you in this process. It has pulleys and other devices that allow you to use your other arm to help the injured one. Regaining motion doesn't just improve your mobility, it can often decrease your pain as well!
Strengthen the other muscles of the rotator cuff that are not torn. These muscles can help to compensate for the torn muscle. Because their are four (4) muscles in the rotator cuff, and usually only one is torn, sometimes strengthening the others is all you need to return to pain-free function. Our Deluxe Shoulder Therapy Set contains many useful devices of a rehabilitation program for the shoulder. These include professional quality Therabands, pulleys, a cane, and instruction book for shoulder exercises. We have found that those patients who do their exercises regularly at home, in addition to (or instead of) physical therapy, will have better overall return of function in their shoulder.
Sometimes, if all this fails to relieve your pain, rotator cuff repair surgery might be needed to re-attach the torn tendon. There are lots of pros and cons to surgery, and different people need surgery for different reasons; be sure to discuss this with your doctor. The bottom line is that not everyone with a rotator cuff tear needs surgery to feel better.