Rotator Cuff Tears

Shoulder pain can be severely limiting in all aspects of life and can greatly interfere with your quality of life, especially when you have torn a rotator cuff muscle. Seeking early physical therapy treatment for rotator cuff tears may help to prevent worsening of symptoms or further injury.

 

Rotator Cuff Tear Physical Therapy


Symptoms

Shoulder pain with a rotator cuff tear is typically described as a dull ache and can occur with movement, at rest, or both. A commonly reported symptom is pain awaking you in the middle of the night. Other symptoms of a rotator cuff tear include difficulty with lifting the arm or reaching behind the back.


Causes

The rotator cuff is comprised of four muscles that surround the shoulder blade with the main job of keeping the “ball” of the shoulder joint stabilized in the “socket” of the joint. Risks for rotator cuff tears include overhead and repetitive activities, such as painting and carpentry and repetitive motions with sports such as baseball and tennis. Aging and weakness can also put you at great risk for tearing your rotator cuff muscles.

Diagnosis

At Specialized Physical Therapy, we will conduct a thorough medical history review focused on your specific symptoms to determine the cause of your symptoms. A physical therapist is trained to identify signs and symptoms consistent with rotator cuff tears. Your physical therapist will also analyze your past medical history, activity level, and standing posture, which aids in creating a treatment protocol.

Treatment and Exercises

After a thorough initial evaluation, your therapist will create an individualized physical therapy program to diminish your symptoms as quickly as possible. The program will include stretches, massage, mobilizations, and strengthening exercises specific to your goals. The treatment will be structured to first identify why the pain started, to reduce swelling and pain, to regain mobility, and to return you to your prior level of function.

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