How To Rehab A Torn Rotator Cuff? (Best solution)

5 Stretches and Exercises for Rotator Cuff Tears

  1. Pendulum swing. Stand to the side of a table, steady chair, or railing and place the hand of your uninjured arm on the object for stability.
  2. Crossover arm stretch. Stand up straight and relax your shoulders.
  3. Standing row.
  4. Internal rotation.
  5. Posterior stretch.


How long does it take for a torn rotator cuff to heal without surgery?

About eight out of 10 people with partial tears get better with nonsurgical treatments. It can take up to a year for the condition to improve. Nonsurgical treatments include: An arm sling and rest to give your shoulder time to heal.

Can rotator cuff tears heal on their own?

Even though most tears cannot heal on their own, good function can often be achieved without surgery. If, however, you are active and use your arm for overhead work or sports, then surgery is most often recommended because many tears will not heal without surgery.

What happens if a torn rotator cuff goes untreated?

If left untreated, a rotator cuff tear can severely restrict function and range of motion. The tears can also increase over time. This may cause partial rotator cuff tears to progress to total tears.

How long does a torn rotator cuff muscle take to heal?

Rotator cuff treatment. The minimum time for recovery from rotator cuff tendinitis or a small tear is generally two to four weeks, and stubborn cases can take several months. Early on, the aim is to reduce swelling and inflammation of the tendons and relieve compression in the subacromial space.

What is the best exercise for rotator cuff injury?

What Exercises Can I Do With a Torn Rotator Cuff?

  • Standing Row. A simple exercise to help strengthen your rotator cuff muscles is the standing row.
  • Internal Rotation.
  • Crossover Arm Stretch.
  • Posterior Stretch.
  • Pendulum swing.
  • Chest Exercises.
  • Dip Movements.
  • Other Shoulder Exercises.

Do rotator cuff tears get worse over time?

There is a good chance that your tear will get worse over time. You had a forceful injury to your shoulder, such as during an activity or car accident. You have severe shoulder pain or weakness. You have not gotten better after 3 to 6 months of other treatment and physical therapy.

How do you heal a torn rotator cuff naturally?

How is rotator cuff tendinitis treated?

  1. avoiding activities that cause pain.
  2. applying cold packs to your shoulder three to four times per day.
  3. taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen (Advil) and naproxen (Aleve)

Can you live with a fully torn rotator cuff?

Patients with “well-balanced” massive rotator cuff tears may still have good active motion and be able to perform their activities of daily living. This is usually achieved through balanced force coupling across the glenohumeral joint (intact subscapularis and teres minor) and recruitment of the deltoid muscle.

How can I treat rotator cuff pain at home?

Treatments include:

  1. Over-the-counter medicine. Anti-inflammatory pain relievers like aspirin, ibuprofen and naproxen can help ease your shoulder ache.
  2. Rest. You’ll need to stop any physical activity that causes or adds to your shoulder pain.
  3. Ice. A cold pack can help reduce swelling and pain.
  4. Heat.
  5. Stretching.

Will a steroid shot help a torn rotator cuff?

Cortisone is a powerful anti-inflammatory that reduces pain and swelling of the rotator cuff tendons. However, cortisone injections are not for everyone. For example, a recent study found that cortisone injections were less effective for full-thickness rotator cuff tears.

Can physical therapy make a rotator cuff tear worse?

A physical therapist can help you reduce the worsening of the symptoms of a rotator cuff tear and may decrease your risk of worsening a tear, especially if you seek assistance at the first sign of shoulder pain or discomfort.

Is a torn rotator cuff permanent?

Without treatment, rotator cuff problems may lead to permanent loss of motion or weakness, and may result in progressive degeneration of the shoulder joint.

Is heat good for rotator cuff pain?

When heat is applied to an injured cuff rotator, it increases the blood flow to the tissue. This, as a result, eases down the inflammation and speeds up the healing process. This is one of the most popular treatment procedures for many athletes.

5 Easy Rotator Cuff Exercises

What is a rotator cuff injury and how does it occur? Shoulder injuries are a severe problem, as both sports spectators and athletes are well aware of. They can be highly painful, restricting, and time-consuming to recover from. Rotator cuff syndrome refers to a set of four muscles that help to support the shoulder while also allowing the arm to move freely. Heidi Jannenga, a physical therapist and the founder of WebPT, recommends visualizing the head of the arm bone as a golf ball and the region of the shoulder blade as a golf tee for treating shoulder pain.

Impingements and rips of the rotator cuff are the most prevalent rotator cuff ailments.

  • Itching and pinching are caused by the swelled and cramped area between the arm and shoulder bones caused by a rotator cuff muscle. Swelling is frequently caused by muscle strains and other overuse injuries, as well as bone spurs. A rotator cuff tear occurs when a tendon or muscle in the rotator cuff is ripped, which is a less common type of injury. The majority of tears will not need surgical intervention.

Overhead motions that are repeated over and over again can wear down the rotator cuff muscles, making them a typical source of pain. This is why sportsmen with shoulder problems, such as baseball pitchers, are so common. In addition, severe injuries, such as falling on one’s arm, might result in serious harm. Regardless of how it occurs, the likelihood of a rotator cuff tear grows as we grow older and the wear and stress on our bodies accumulates. Immediately following an injury, try to use the ” RICE ” approach as follows: Treatments such as rest, cold, compression, and elevation all work together to alleviate pain and swelling.

These are some examples of exercises:

  • Doorway stretch, side-lying external rotation, high-to-low rows, reverse fly, and lawn mower pull are all techniques that can be used.

If you are comfortable increasing weight to these movements, consider employing a small dumbbell or resistance band for the repetitions if you are comfortable doing so. If you do not have access to a light dumbbell, a can of soup can be used.

  1. Start by standing in an open doorway with your arms out to the side, allowing your muscles to warm up. Grip the edges of the doorway with each hand at or below shoulder height, then lean forward into the doorway until you feel a gentle stretch in your muscles
  2. Continue to maintain a straight back while leaning and shifting your weight onto your toes. You should feel a stretch in the front of your shoulder after doing this exercise. Do not overstretch your muscles.
  1. Sit up straight and on the side opposite your damaged arm
  2. Fold in the elbow of your injured arm to 90 degrees and place the elbow on your side to relieve the pain. If your forearm is properly aligned, it should lay across your abdomen. Holding a light dumbbell in the injured side’s hand, steadily elevate the weight toward the ceiling while maintaining your elbow against your side. If you feel any tension in your arm, stop rotating it. For a few seconds, raise the dumbbell above your head before returning to the starting position with your arm down Repeat 3 sets of 10 reps as many times as you like, up to 3 times a day. When a set of ten becomes too easy, increase the number of reps to twenty.
  1. An attachment point for a resistance band is something substantial that is at or above shoulder level. Make certain that it is securely fastened so that it does not come undone when you tug on it. Get down on one knee and lift the knee opposite your affected arm so that it is higher than the other. Your whole body, including your dropped knee, should be in alignment. Rest your other hand on the outside of your rising leg
  2. Pull your elbow toward your body while holding the band firmly in your hand and your arm extended. Pulling should be done with your back straight and shoulder blades squeezed together and down. Your body should not shift or twist in response to the movement of your arm. Return to the beginning and complete three sets of ten repetitions.
  1. Standing with your feet shoulder-width apart and your knees slightly bent is a good position to start. Maintain a straight back and a small forward bend at the waist
  2. While holding a light weight in each hand, extend your arms and elevate them away from your body. Keep your elbow from locking. Make a tight fist with your shoulder blades while doing so. It is not permissible to raise your arms over shoulder height. Return to the beginning and complete three sets of ten repetitions.
  1. Standing with your feet shoulder-width apart and your knees slightly bent is a good position to begin. Maintain a straight back and a small forward bend at the waist
  2. While holding a light weight in each hand, stretch your arms and elevate them away from your body
  3. Make sure your elbow is not locked in any manner. While doing so, squeeze your shoulder blades together. Keep your arms below your shoulders at all times. Go back to the beginning and complete three sets of ten repetitions.

However, while these exercises might assist in the recovery from a small injury, a significant or reoccurring injury requires further attention and care. Consult your doctor if you have any of the following symptoms:

  • Pain or a deep pain, swelling, trouble elevating your arm, and difficulties sleeping on your arm for more than a few days following your accident are all possible consequences.

These are signs and symptoms of a more serious medical condition.

Rotator cuff injury – Diagnosis and treatment

At various points throughout the physical examination, your doctor will push on different regions of your shoulder and move your arm into various postures to assess your shoulder function. It is also possible that he or she may assess the strength of the muscles around the shoulder and in your arms. If necessary, he or she may prescribe imaging tests such as the ones listed below.

  • X-rays. The use of ultrasound can detect bone spurs or other potential reasons of your pain, such as arthritis. Although a rotator cuff tear will not show up on an X-ray, this test can detect other potential causes of your pain, such as arthritis. Soft tissue imaging is a technique that employs sound waves to create pictures of structures within your body, particularly soft tissues such as muscles and tendons. It enables dynamic testing, which assesses the structures of your shoulder as they move in response to your movements. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) also provides for a fast comparison between the afflicted shoulder and the healthy shoulder (MRI). This method makes use of radio waves as well as a powerful magnet. All of the shoulder structures can be seen in great clarity on the photos that were acquired. The quality of the photos is strongly influenced by the quality of the equipment that was utilized.


Some rotator cuff injuries can be treated with conservative measures such as rest, ice, and physical therapy, which can help the patient heal more quickly and completely. If your damage is serious, you may require surgical intervention.


The use of a steroid injection into the shoulder joint is often recommended by doctors when conservative therapies fail to relieve discomfort. This is especially true if the pain is interfering with your sleep, everyday activities, or participation in physical therapy.

While such injections are frequently effective in the short term, they should be used with caution since they can contribute to the weakening of the tendon and reduce the success of surgery if it is ultimately necessary.


A physical therapist is usually one of the first treatments that a doctor will recommend for you. Stretching and strengthening exercises that are targeted to the precise region of your rotator cuff injury can assist you in regaining flexibility and strength in your shoulder. A significant component of the rehabilitation process following rotator cuff surgery is physical therapy.


Rotator cuff injuries can be treated with a variety of surgical procedures. These procedures include the following:

  • Tendon repair via an arthroscopic procedure. Surgery to repair a torn tendon involves inserting a small camera (arthroscope) and equipment into a small incision and stitching the damaged tendon back into place. Tendon repair with an open wound. In some cases, an open tendon repair may be a better alternative than a closed repair. The injured tendon is reattached to the bone through a bigger incision made by the physician during these types of procedures. Transfer of a tendon If the ripped tendon is too damaged to be repaired and reattached to the arm bone, surgeons may choose to replace it with a tendon from a neighboring bone. Shoulder replacement surgery is required. Shoulder replacement surgery may be required in the case of severe rotator cuff problems. In order to increase the stability of the artificial joint, a novel approach (reverse shoulder arthroplasty) is used to attach the ball portion of the artificial joint to the shoulder blade and the socket portion of the artificial joint to the arm bone.
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Video: Tendon transfer to repair rotator cuff

In the shoulder joint, the rotator cuff is a set of muscles and tendons that help to stabilize the joint while also allowing you to move your arm and shoulder. When a portion of the rotator cuff gets inflamed or injured, it can cause problems. Pain, weakness, and a decreased range of motion may develop as a result of this. It is possible for one or more tendons to get separated from the bone. In some situations, a surgeon can repair the tendon to the bone with the use of a suture, which is a thread-like substance similar to thread.

  1. This is when a “tendon transfer” could be considered by the surgeon.
  2. The latissimus dorsi tendon in the back is the tendon that is most usually used for tendon transplant.
  3. The surgeon detaches one end of a latissimus dorsi tendon and applies a suture to the other end of the tendon in the back.
  4. He or she inserts an instrument into the latissimus dorsi tendon to grip the end of the tendon.
  5. In order to link the transplanted tendon to any residual rotator cuff and bone, sutures are employed in the procedure.
  6. In rare circumstances, bone anchors are placed into the bone to aid in the retention of the sutures in their positions.
  7. The incisions are then stitched up in the front and rear to complete the procedure.

Video: Reverse shoulder replacement

In the shoulder joint, the rotator cuff is a set of muscles and tendons that help to stabilize the joint while also allowing you to move your arm and shoulder. Problems with the rotator cuff can result in weakness or discomfort, as well as mobility restriction. It has the potential to cause injury to the shoulder joint as well. Tendons may often be healed if they are damaged. Alternatively, if the tendons have been significantly injured, a procedure known as reverse shoulder replacement may be a more effective technique to enhance the joint’s function and relieve discomfort, particularly if the joint has been impacted by arthritis in the first place.

  • “Arthro” refers to a joint, and “plasty” refers to the process of surgically molding something.
  • The socket of a standard shoulder replacement is lined with a plastic liner to ensure that the shoulder may move freely.
  • However, if the rotator cuff is badly injured, the joint may not be stable and may not function as intended.
  • Attached to the shoulder blade is a plastic ball with a handle.
  • The deltoid muscle, which is a big muscle that covers the shoulder, is usually capable of moving the arm.
  • An incision or cut is created in the front of the arm and shoulder area to perform the procedure.
  • The upper arm bone is taken out of the socket and placed in a cast.
  • In addition, the socket has been prepared.
  • The metal stem is put into the arm bone, and a plastic socket is affixed to the top of the stem to complete the assembly.

The new socket is installed against the new ball in order to allow for smooth movement of the ball. Afterwards, the incision is closed and the tissue is sewed together around the joint.

Lifestyle and home remedies

When treated properly, the discomfort associated with a small rotator cuff injury can frequently subside on its own. Stop performing whatever it was that was causing the discomfort and try to avoid unpleasant motions as much as possible. Heavy lifting and overhead activities should be avoided until your shoulder discomfort diminishes. It is possible that icing your shoulder will relieve your discomfort. Analgesics such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB) or acetaminophen (Tylenol, others) may also be beneficial in the treatment of headaches.

Preparing for your appointment

You’ll most likely begin by consulting with your primary care physician or a sports medicine practitioner. An orthopedic surgeon may be consulted if your injury is serious enough that you require surgical intervention. Depending on whether you’ve been treated for a similar condition in the past, you may need to bring previous records and imaging exams with you to your consultation.

What you can do

If you have time before the visit, you may wish to make a list that addresses the following questions:

  • When did you first notice that you were having shoulder pain? What kind of motions and activities aggravate your shoulder discomfort
  • Have you ever had an injury to your shoulder? In addition to the shoulder ache, have you noticed any other symptoms? Is the discomfort felt further down your arm below your elbow? Is there any connection between the shoulder ache and any neck problems? Is your work or a recreational activity making your shoulder ache worse?

What to expect from your doctor

A variety of questions will almost certainly be asked by your doctor. Being prepared to respond to their questions may allow you to set up additional time to go over any issues you wish to spend more time on. Your doctor may inquire as follows:

  • What part of the body is experiencing discomfort
  • What is the severity of your discomfort? Are there any specific motions or activities that cause or ease your shoulder pain? Does your arm have any numbness or weakness in it


The “rotator cuff” refers to a collection of four muscles and their tendons that are crucial for maintaining the stability of the shoulder joint. Injuries to the rotator cuff are widespread, and can occur as a result of an accident or trauma, as well as through overuse of the shoulder. Injury risk might vary, but it typically increases as a person’s age grows. Rotator cuff tears are more prevalent in persons who are older, although they can also occur in people who are younger. Athletes and heavy laborers are particularly vulnerable.

  • When left untreated, a rotator cuff tear can result in considerable discomfort as well as a reduction in the ability to utilize the affected arm or shoulder.
  • Physical therapists are experts in the movement of the body.
  • For an evaluation, you can make contact with a physical therapist directly.
  • Find a Physical Therapist in Your Area!

What Is a Rotator Cuff Tear?

The “rotator cuff” is a set of four muscles and their tendons (tissues that connect muscles to bones) that attaches the upper arm bone, or humerus, to the shoulder blade and helps to stabilize the shoulder joint. The rotator cuff’s most significant function is to maintain the stability of the shoulder joint. Heavy lifting, repetitive arm movements, or trauma, such as a fall, can cause the rotator cuff to become inflamed or irritated, resulting in shoulder pain.

Injury to the muscles or tendons of the rotator cuff causes tissue damage or disruption, resulting in a tear in the joint. When it comes to rotator cuff tears, they are classified as either “full thickness” or “partial thickness,” depending on their severity.

  • Rotator cuff tears that are full thickness stretch from the top to the bottom of the muscle or tendon of the shoulder. Partial-thickness tears damage at least a piece of a rotator cuff muscle or tendon, but they do not extend all the way through the muscle or tendon
  • And

Tears in the shoulder are frequently caused by a stressful incident or by misuse of the shoulder over an extended period of time. These disorders are referred to as “acute” or “chronic” in most cases.

  • Acuterotator cuff tears are those that occur quickly, frequently as a result of traumas such as a fall or the lifting of a large object
  • Chronicrotator cuff tears are those that develop over time, usually as a result of repetitive motion. These rips are frequently the consequence of repetitive maneuvers with the arms functioning above the shoulder level, such as those associated with ball-throwing sports or certain types of jobs.

People who suffer from chronic rotator cuff injuries are more likely to have a history of rotator cuff tendon irritation, which produces shoulder pain when they move their shoulders. Shoulder impingement syndrome is the medical term for this ailment. It is also possible that rotator cuff tears develop in conjunction with injuries or irritation of the biceps tendon at the shoulder, as well as with labral tears (to the ring of cartilage at the shoulder joint). Your physical therapist will go through the specifics of your rotator cuff injury with you in further detail.

How Does It Feel?

People who have rotator cuff tears may have the following symptoms:

  • Pain radiating from the top of the shoulder down the outside of the arm, or both
  • Weakness in the shoulders
  • Loss of shoulder range of motion In the arm, you may experience a sense of weakness or weight. It is impossible to elevate the arm to reach higher or to reach behind the back. The inability to carry out routine everyday tasks because to discomfort and restricted movement

How Is It Diagnosed?

Your physical therapist will do a thorough evaluation to determine the source of your shoulder pain. This examination will involve learning about your symptoms, examining your ability to move your arm, finding weakness, and completing specific tests that may suggest a rotator cuff rupture. For example, your physical therapist may instruct you to lift your arm to a certain angle of elevation, move your arm out to the side, or elevate your arm and resist a force, all of which are precise angles of elevation.

How Can a Physical Therapist Help?

You will work with your orthopedist and physical therapist to determine whether you should have surgery or whether you can try to manage your rehabilitation without surgery once a rotator cuff injury has been detected. You will work with your physical therapist to restore your range of motion, muscle strength, and coordination so that you can return to your normal activities. If surgery is not required, you will work with your physical therapist to restore your range of motion, muscle strength, and coordination so that you can return to your normal activities.

Whether or not you decide to undergo surgery, your physical therapist can provide assistance both before and after the operation.

If You Have an Acute Injury

As soon as an injury to the shoulder is detected, seek the attention of a physical therapist or other health-care practitioner to rule out the likelihood of more serious problems that might be life- or limb-threatening.

Once a significant injury has been ruled out, your physical therapist will assist you in managing your discomfort and preparing you for the most appropriate course of therapy for your condition.

If You Have a Chronic Injury

As well as managing the symptoms of chronic rotator cuff injuries, physical therapy can help you improve the way your shoulder performs in everyday activities. In the case of major rotator cuff injuries that cannot be entirely healed, physical therapists can teach specific shoulder movement patterns to enhance shoulder mobility. However, if physical therapy and conservative treatment are ineffective in improving your function, surgical intervention may be a possibility for you.

How Can a Physical Therapist Help Before and After Surgery?

Physical therapy will be an important component of your rehabilitation process if your illness is serious enough to necessitate surgery to regain use of your shoulder. Re-injury of the surgically repaired rotator cuff is a concern following shoulder surgery; thus, collaboration with a physical therapist is essential to safely restoring full use of the affected arm. Following the surgical procedure, you will be need to wear a sling to keep your shoulder and arm covered while the repair is being completed.

Your physical therapist will begin your entire rehabilitation program as soon as you are able to exercise without the assistance of the sling.

Physical therapy will help you through the various stages of postsurgical rehabilitation, which will evolve from gentle range of motion and strengthening exercises to activity- or sport-specific activities as necessary.

The time frame for your recovery will vary depending on the surgical procedure and your overall health, but it is possible that you will not be able to return to sports, heavy lifting, or other strenuous activities until 4 months after surgery, and that you will not be able to return to full activity until 9 months to 1 year after surgery.

It is critical that you adhere to the postoperative recommendations supplied by your surgeon and physical therapist as instructed.

  • Phase I consists of the following steps: (maximal protection). In the first few weeks following your surgery, your shoulder is at the highest risk of re-injury. This phase of treatment lasts for a few weeks. During this phase, your arm will be in a sling to keep it from moving. To do routine actions like as washing and dressing, you will most likely want support or techniques to help you succeed. You will learn gentle range-of-motion and isometric strengthening exercises, receive hands-on treatments (manual therapy), such as gentle massage, receive advice on how to reduce your pain, and may be treated with techniques such as cold compression and electrical stimulation to relieve your pain
  • Phase II (moderate protection). The purpose of this following step is to restore mobility to the shoulder joint as much as possible. With time, you will be able to lessen your reliance on your sling, and your range-of-motion and strengthening activities will become more difficult. Exercises to strengthen the “core” muscles of your trunk and shoulder blade (scapula), as well as the rotator-cuff muscles, which offer additional support and stability to your shoulder, will be included. You will be allowed to resume using your arm for daily tasks, but you will be prohibited from performing heavy lifting until further notice. During this phase, your physical therapist may employ particular hands-on mobilization techniques to aid in the restoration of your shoulder’s range of motion
  • Phase III (return to activity). The objective of this phase is to restore your shoulder strength and joint awareness to a level that is comparable to your other shoulder. The use of your arm for daily activities should be complete at this stage
  • Nevertheless, participation in activities such as sports, yard work, or physically demanding job-related chores will still be prohibited. It is during this phase that your physical therapist will increase the difficulty of your exercises, either by adding weight or by instructing you to use more challenging movement patterns. A modified weight-lifting/gym-based program may also be initiated during this phase
  • Phase IV (return to occupation or sport). This phase will assist you with returning to work, sports, and other higher-level activities after a period of absence. You will be instructed in activity-specific exercises by your physical therapist throughout this phase, which will be tailored to your needs. Throwing and catching drills may be included in the program for some athletes. Others may benefit from education in effective lifting techniques for common jobs such as raking, shoveling, and performing housework, as well as experience moving larger goods onto shelves.
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Can This Injury or Condition Be Prevented?

A physical therapist can aid you in reducing the worsening of the symptoms of a rotator cuff tear and may lower your chance of further aggravating a tear, especially if you seek care as soon as you notice shoulder pain or discomfort. It is critical to refrain from performing behaviors that might aggravate an existing shoulder issue in order to avoid acquiring a rotator cuff tear. It is possible that your physical therapist can assist you with strengthening your rota T or cuff muscles, educating you on how to avoid potentially hazardous situations, and determining when it is suitable for you to return to normal activities.

Physical therapists urge that you do the following to keep your shoulder healthy and avoid rotator cuff tears:

  • Refrain from repeatedly raising your arms over your head, since this may cause shoulder discomfort. Consider seeking the guidance of a physical therapist if your profession necessitates such motions. A physical therapist can teach you arm postures that are less dangerous to utilize
  • Add shoulder blade and rotator cuff strengthening exercises to your regular workout regimen to improve your overall health. The rotator cuff’s strength is equally as significant as the strength of any other muscle group in the body. General strengthening and fitness programs can help to prevent any damage to the rotator cuff and enhance overall shoulder health. Maintain a straight back and shoulders. It has been demonstrated that a forward posture of the head and shoulders alters the position of the shoulder blades and results in shoulder impingement syndrome. If you sleep on your side, avoid sleeping with your arm stretched above or resting your head on your shoulder. These postures can set off the process that leads to rotator cuff degeneration, and they may be accompanied with an increase in your degree of discomfort. Smoking should be avoided since it might reduce blood flow to your rotator cuff. Consult with a physical therapist as soon as you notice any symptoms.

What Kind of Physical Therapist Do I Need?

Even though all physical therapists are trained and experienced in the treatment of rotator cuff tears, you should consider the following factors when choosing a provider:

  • A physical therapist who has extensive knowledge in the treatment of persons suffering from musculoskeletal issues. Some physical therapists have a specialty practice that focuses on orthopedics. The knowledge, experience, and abilities of a physical therapist who is board-certified clinical specialist, or who has completed a residency or fellowship in orthopedic physical therapy, are likely to be more advanced than those of other physical therapists.

The American Physical Therapy Association created Find a PT, an online tool that allows you to look for physical therapists in your area who have specific clinical expertise. You can find these and other credentials by searching for physical therapists in your area who have these and other credentials. When looking for a physical therapist (or any other type of health care practitioner), here are some general guidelines:

  • Find out who to ask for recommendations from: relatives and friends, or other health-care professionals. You should inquire about the experience of the physical therapists in treating persons who have labral tears when you make an appointment with a physical therapy facility. Ensure that you are prepared to discuss your symptoms in as much detail as possible, as well as what makes your symptoms worse

Is this content helpful?

Thank you very much. Your feedback has been forwarded to the appropriate party. Customers, according to the American Physical Therapy Association, should have access to information that will assist them in making health-care decisions, as well as information that helps prepare them for their appointment with their health-care practitioner. As selected by the American Physical Therapy Association, the following papers contain some of the most compelling scientific information on how to treat rotator cuff tears.

  1. Listed by year, the article titles provide a link to either a PubMed* abstract or free online access to the complete article, allowing you to read it or print off a copy for you to take to your health care practitioner.
  2. Kukkonen, A.
  3. Lehtinen, and colleagues An investigational randomized controlled study with two years of clinical and imaging follow-up for the treatment of nontraumatic rotator cuff tears 97:1729–1737 in the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery of the United States.
  4. W.
  5. Klinger, and M.
  6. The natural history of rotator cuff tear: a thorough review of the literature 135:1055–1061, in Arch Orthop Trauma Surg.
  7. Summary of the article on PubMed.

57, no.

Summary of the article on PubMed.

Düzgün, G.


Pain and functional activity following arthroscopic rotator cuff surgery were compared between a slow and an expedited rehabilitation strategy, respectively.


Summary of the article on PubMed.

The Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgery, Volume 19, Number 3, pages 368–379.

Parsons, BO, Gruson, KI, Chen, DD, and colleagues Is there a link between a slower recovery process following arthroscopic rotator cuff surgery and long-term stiffness?

Shoulder Elbow Surg 2010;19:1034-1039.

Oh JH, Kim SH, Ji HM, and colleagues The prognostic parameters that influence the anatomic result of rotator cuff surgery and its relationship to functional outcome were investigated.

Summary of the article on PubMed.

In this retrospective, descriptive study, we looked at the results of shoulder physical therapy patients.

Journal of Orthopaedic Sports Physical Therapy.

PubMed contains millions of citations to biomedical literature, including citations to articles in the MEDLINE database maintained by the National Library of Medicine.

Symptoms Conditions Tear in the Rotator CuffAuthor (s) Charles Thigpen, PT, PhD, ATCL, is a physical therapist. ane Bailey, PT, DPT, is a professional reviewer (s) The editorial board has made a decision.

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It is made possible through videophysical therapy. 30th of November, 2016 Charlie did not begin jogging until he was 55 years old. With the assistance of his physical therapists, he has completed more than 50 marathons and eight Ironman triathlons by the age of 73.

Do I Need Physical Therapy for a Rotator Cuff Tear?

You are not alone if you are suffering from a rotator cuff injury. Every year, millions of individuals are affected by this. It’s a common source of shoulder discomfort. The appropriate therapy can help you feel better, prevent a minor injury from becoming worse, and speed up the healing process. Physical therapy (PT) is an effective treatment option for many people. It is possible that this is all that is required to treat a rotator cuff injury. Physical therapy (PT) is a method of regaining strength and movement following an accident.

Your Rotator Cuff

The rotator cuff is a bundle of tendons and muscles in your shoulder that helps to stabilize the joint. They wrap over the top of your arm to give a “cuff” effect. It assists you in lifting and rotating your arm. Additionally, it maintains the shoulder stable as your arm travels. One or more of the following can result in a torn rotator cuff: It can become inflamed as a result of regular wear and tear over time. This is more common in adults over the age of 40. However, you can also acquire one if you fall or if you keep doing the same thing over and over again.

It has the potential to split or rip, especially if you move anything quite heavy.

Is PT for Me?

If you suspect that you have a tear, consult your doctor immediately. They may refer you to an orthopedic doctor, who is a specialist who specializes in the treatment of bones, joints, muscles, and tendons. They can provide you with information on surgery and nonsurgical treatments, as well as physical therapy. Unless the damage is serious, physical therapy is usually the first step. Your physical therapist will ask you questions about your personal life and the activities you participate in.

For example, the therapist may ask you to raise your arm, shift it to the side, or push against something in order to determine your physical limits PT is beneficial in a variety of ways.

The therapist will assist you in the following ways:

  • You should regain your range of motion. Learn how to strengthen your shoulder muscles with these workouts. Improve your posture (the way you sit and stand) to assist alleviate discomfort. Find a technique to sleep that isn’t too painful for your shoulder. Learn how to transport goods in a safe manner. To alleviate the discomfort, apply ice or heat. Recognize the reasons why you must keep progressing
  • Find strategies to complete tasks without causing discomfort to your shoulder. It is time to return to your usual activities (please be patient as this may take some time)

Physical therapy can also aid in the recovery process following rotator cuff surgery. It’s the same concept as before: to gain strength and movement while returning to a normal life. The therapist will instruct you on how to avoid injuring your shoulder again following surgery.

As you recuperate, pay close attention to your discomfort and get assistance if necessary. That is the most effective method of healing your damaged shoulder and ensuring that it remains as strong as possible for the rest of your life.

5 Stretches and Exercises for Rotator Cuff Tears

In the case of a rotator cuff tear, physical therapy will be necessary to help you rebuild shoulder strength and range of motion after the injury. Rotator cuff injuries are most commonly caused by trauma, tissue degeneration, or impingement of the shoulder joint. Read more about how rotator cuff injuries occur here. On your journey to recovery, you may come across a variety of workouts and stretches that look like the ones listed here. advertisement

1. Pendulum swing

  • As you approach a table, stable chair, or railing to the side, place the hand of your undamaged arm on the item to provide support. Lending a little forward motion without rounding the back, and allowing the afflicted arm to dangle freely is recommended. Then, with this arm, softly move it forth and back
  • Keeping your arm in the same posture, move your arm in and out (from side to side). Begin by moving your arm in tiny circles around you, starting in the same posture. Begin by moving in a clockwise direction, then reverse and move in a counterclockwise direction
  • Carry out the exercise with the other arm.

See Rotator Cuff Injuries: Symptoms and Treatment for further information.

2. Crossover arm stretch

  • Maintain a straight posture and relax your shoulders. If you need to unwind, take a few deep breaths and relax. Stretch the injured arm over your chest, but keep it below your chin to relieve the pain. attempting to travel as far as possible The healthy arm contributes to the healing process by supporting the elbow region of the damaged arm. It is important to note that when executing this exercise, you should feel a stretch rather than pain. Carry out the exercise with the other arm.

Check out this video: Crossover Shoulder Stretch

3. Standing row

  • This exercise calls for the use of a stretch band that has been knotted at the ends to form a three-foot loop
  • Attach one end of the loop to a stable item, such as a doorknob, and turn it so that it faces you. Hold the other end of the band in one hand while standing back far enough so that there is little or no slack in the band
  • Pulling the elbow back with your arm bent at the elbow at a 90-degree angle and near to your torso Carry out the exercise with the other arm.

See Rotator Cuff Injuries: Causes and Risk Factors for further information.

4. Internal rotation

  • This exercise, similar to a standing row, is performed using a stretch band that is linked at the ends to form a three-foot loop. One end of the loop should be attached to a stable item such as a doorknob
  • Step to one side and hold the band in the hand of your afflicted arm
  • Repeat as necessary. Maintain a 90-degree angle with your elbow while keeping it close to your body. Once you’ve done that, cross your forearm across your midsection of the body. Carry out the exercise with the other arm.


5. Posterior stretch

  • Raise your chin and relax your shoulders
  • The elbow area of the wounded arm is held in place by the hand of the intact arm. The wounded arm’s hand crosses the torso and rests on the shoulder on the other side of the body. The damaged arm is gently pushed up and over the body by the hand of the unaffected arm, resulting in a stretch. Carry out the exercise with the other arm.

Your doctor or physical therapist will often prescribe the sorts of exercises and the amount of repetitions that will best meet your needs and achieve your objectives. As well as precise workout technique, he or she will also train you on various pain management techniques. For example, applying ice or a cold pack soon after stretching can help reduce inflammation; your health care practitioner can show you how to apply ice or a cold pack properly. See Rotator Cuff Injuries: Initial Treatment for further information.

  1. You should check to see that you are executing the prescribed stretches and exercises correctly; if you are experiencing pain, you should seek medical attention.
  2. If you feel any discomfort, stop immediately and talk with your health care practitioner before continuing.
  3. The rotator cuff plays a crucial function in your shoulder’s mobility by holding your upper arm bone (humerus) in place and allowing you to rotate your shoulder.
  4. See Shoulder Soft Tissues for further information.

Learn more:

See Rotator Cuff Injuries for further information. Injections into the rotator cuff

Rotator Cuff Tears: Symptoms, Repair & Treatment

The rotator cuff is a set of muscles and tendons in your shoulder that helps to stabilize the joint. They assist you in lifting and separating your arms from your torso. The rotator cuff is responsible for keeping the ball of the upper arm bone (humerus) in the socket of the shoulder blade.

What is a rotator cuff tear?

In the skeletal system, the shoulder is a ball-and-socket joint that rotates around an axis. It’s analogous to a golf ball resting on a golf tee tee. Rotator cuff rips occur when the tendons of the arm pull away from the bone of the arm. A tear may occur as a result of overuse or another type of damage.

What are the types of rotator cuff tears?

The following are examples of torn rotator cuffs:

  • Partially torn: When a tendon is torn just partially or completely, it retains some attachment to the arm bone. Full-thickness or total tear: When a tendon tears fully through the bone, it is referred to as a complete tear. Tendon damage is evident
  • The tendon has been torn or ripped.

How common are rotator cuff tears?

Every year, more than two million people in the United States suffer from a rotator cuff ailment of some kind.

Despite the fact that rotator cuff rips may affect persons of all ages and genders, the condition is more prevalent in adults.

Symptoms and Causes

If you are involved in an accident, such as a fall, you might sustain a fractured collarbone or a dislocated shoulder, which can induce a rotator cuff injury. Rotator cuff tears develop more frequently over time when the tendon weakens as a result of the wear and strain of daily life (degenerative tear). People over the age of 40 are the most vulnerable. Degenerative tears can be caused by a variety of factors, including:

  • Bone spurs: Bony growths that develop on the top of the shoulder bone are known as bone spurs. Each time you elevate your arm, these bone spurs press up on the tendon. Thisshoulder impingement is caused by friction between the bone and the tendon in the shoulder joint. It is possible that a partial or full tear will develop. Reduced blood flow to the rotator cuff: As you become older, your blood flow to the rotator cuff diminishes. In order to restore themselves, your muscles and tendons require a healthy blood flow. If the tendons do not receive enough nutrition from the blood, they might rip. Overuse: Repetitive shoulder motions during sports or at work can cause muscle and tendon tension, resulting in a rupture. What are the factors that increase the likelihood of rotator cuff tears?
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A rotator cuff injury can occur in anybody at any time. These things may raise your chances of getting sick:

  • Having a family history of shoulder issues or rotator cuff injuries is recommended. Insufficiency of posture
  • Smoking
  • Being 40 years old or older

Degenerative tears are more likely in those who do the same repetitive shoulder movements over and over again, such as the following:

  • Carpenters, mechanics, painters, and amateur and professional athletes who participate in baseball, softball, tennis, or as members of a rowing crew are all examples of people who work in the construction industry.

Do rotator cuff tears affect both shoulders?

Tears are more likely to appear on your dominant side, although they might appear on any side. It is more likely that a rip in one shoulder will lead to a tear in the opposing shoulder when it occurs. Although you may not be experiencing shoulder discomfort on the other side, examinations may reveal that you have a tear. It is also possible to have a tear yet not experience any pain or symptoms as a result of it.

What are the symptoms of a rotator cuff tear?

Accidental tears that occur suddenly produce acute shoulder discomfort and arm paralysis immediately after the mishap. It is possible to experience modest discomfort associated with degenerative tears, which can be alleviated by using over-the-counter pain medicines. Pain medications are ineffective in the long run since the pain worsens with time. Although not everyone has discomfort, the majority of people experience some degree of arm and shoulder weakness. The following are symptoms of a torn rotator cuff:

  • Raise your arm and you will experience difficulty and discomfort
  • When you move your arm, you may hear or feel popping or clicking noises or sensations. Shoulder ache that gets worse at night or when your arm is resting on anything
  • Shoulder weakness and difficulty lifting heavy objects

Diagnosis and Tests

If there is any soreness or range of motion in your shoulders, your healthcare professional will undertake a physical exam to examine your arm strength. You may have one of the following tests to confirm a diagnosis:

  • In order to rule out arthritis or bone spurs, an X-ray is taken. To check for tendon rips, an MRI or ultrasound is used.

Management and Treatment

If left untreated, a rotator cuff injury might become more severe. When your arm is completely torn, it might be nearly hard to move it. Chronic shoulder discomfort and difficulty using the damaged arm may result if you do not seek medical attention for your condition.

What are nonsurgical treatments for rotator cuff tears?

Although rotator cuff injuries can not heal on their own without surgery, many patients find that strengthening their shoulder muscles can improve their functional ability and reduce their discomfort. Just because there is a rip does not automatically imply that surgery is required to repair it. Nonsurgical therapies improve the condition of about eight out of ten persons who have partial tears. It is possible that the situation will not improve for up to a year. The following are examples of nonsurgical treatments:

  • Rest and an arm sling will allow your shoulder to recover properly over time. It is possible that you may have to change your activities and cease specific work or sports for a period of time. In order to reduce discomfort and swelling, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) are used. Strengthening and stretching techniques are learned via physical therapy. Injections of corticosteroids to alleviate pain and edema

What are the surgical treatments for rotator cuff tears?

If you have a full tear or if nonsurgical therapies are ineffective in treating a partial tear, your healthcare professional may propose surgery. If your profession or sporting hobbies have an impact on your shoulder, you may need to have surgery. The majority of rotator cuff procedures are performed arthroscopically, which means they are performed through tiny openings. The technique is performed as an outpatient procedure. You can return home the same day, but the total recuperation from this operation is extensive and can last for up to a year or more following the procedure.

Because of the magnitude and/or age of the rip, certain injuries are not repairable and may need a reverse shoulder replacement, tendon transfer, or a debridement of scar tissue without repair. During surgery, your healthcare practitioner will do the following:

  • Inserts an arthroscope (a tiny camera) into your shoulder through a small incision in your armpit. Refers to the pictures obtained from the arthroscope in order to carry out the procedure. A small incision in your shoulder is made, and tiny tools are inserted into the incision to remove bone spurs and reconnect the tendon to the upper arm bone.

Your healthcare professional may simply need to trim the frayed bits of a partially torn tendon if the rip is only partial in nature. It is important to do this debridement technique to prevent the shoulder ball and socket from snagging on the tendon and further damaging it. Following surgery, you will be required to wear a sling to keep your arm immobilized for four to six weeks. After that, you can begin physical therapy. The majority of patients regain shoulder function and strength within four to six months of surgery, but it may take up to 12-18 months to reach a full recovery.


It is critical to maintain the flexibility of your muscles and tendons in order to avoid a rotator cuff injury. Stretching and strengthening activities that you may do at home can be taught to you by your healthcare professional.

Outlook / Prognosis

The majority of patients see benefits after nonsurgical therapies. Recovery takes time because your body requires time to repair itself after an injury. The majority of patients who have surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff regain their ability to move their arm. It is conceivable to rip the same tendon more than once, especially if the previous tear was larger than 1 inch in circumference. A re-tear that results in significant discomfort or loss of mobility may necessitate surgical intervention.

Living With

If you have any of the following symptoms, you should contact your healthcare provider:

  • Shoulder and arm ache that persists
  • Pain that intensifies at night or that interferes with sleep is classified as The presence of redness, swelling, or pain around the shoulder joint
  • Weakness in the shoulders or arms

What questions should I ask my healthcare provider?

You might wish to inquire with your healthcare practitioner about the following:

  • What caused the rotator cuff tear
  • What caused the shoulder pain
  • What is the most appropriate therapy for me
  • Specifically, what can I do to reduce my chances of suffering another shoulder rotator cuff tear
  • Are there any symptoms of difficulties that I should look out for? What are the indicators of a complication

An announcement from the Cleveland Clinic If you have a physically demanding job or are an athlete, a rotator cuff injury will almost certainly sideline you, but it does not have to be the end of your professional career. Consult with your healthcare professional about the best treatment choices for you, including nonsurgical and surgical treatments. Your shoulder may be weak and uncomfortable for a period after the injury, but it will eventually recover on its own.

Rotator Cuff Tear Exercises

Have you ever wondered why baseball pitchers are prone to shoulder ailments, or how they manage to recover from them when they do? If you’ve ever overexerted your shoulders or suffered a severe fall onto your arm, you may have experienced a shoulder injury to a group of muscles known as the rotator cuff that is quite similar to this one. The rotator cuff is a collection of four muscles that surrounds your shoulder and helps to stabilize it. Both supporting the upper arm and shoulder, as well as ensuring that your shoulder has complete range of motion in all directions, are the responsibilities of this group of muscles.

  1. Muscle strain or overuse of your shoulder muscles can result in tendonitis, which manifests itself as inflammation of the rotator cuff muscles and tendon, causing a pinching or impingement between your arm and shoulder blade bone.
  2. When you have tears, your rotator cuff tendon is literally torn off the top part of your shoulder bone, which is what causes the pain.
  3. Without a doubt, any type of injury to the shoulder or upper arm that causes damage to the rotator cuff muscles will result in some discomfort and difficulty moving the shoulder or upper arms.
  4. After consulting with your primary care physician about your injury and treatment choices, inquire about the possibility of performing rehabilitation exercises for your injuries.

We’ll also go through a few workouts that should be avoided in order to avoid aggravating your shoulder pain any worse.

What Exercises Can I Do With a Torn Rotator Cuff?

The standing row is a basic exercise that may be used to help strengthen your rotator cuff muscles. To do this exercise, tie a flexible fitness band to a strong item and secure it with a knot. Then, using one hand, hold the other end of the band taut while positioning yourself far enough back so that there is no slack in the band. Keep your arm close to your body and bent at the elbow at a 90-degree angle for the next several seconds. Pulling your elbow back will help you to stretch. This exercise should be done with both arms.

Take a look at this video demonstration to see an illustration:

Internal Rotation

An internal rotation is a very similar exercise to the standing row in that it begins the same manner, with a stretch band linked to a firm object and the afflicted elbow bent. Immediately following the bend of the elbow, cross your forearm over your midsection. This exercise should be done with both arms. This exercise will assist to strengthen the muscles in your rotator cuff. Take a look at this video demonstration to see an illustration:

Crossover Arm Stretch

Another straightforward stretch, the crossing arm stretch begins with the body in a standing, neutral stance with shoulders relaxed. Next, cross your afflicted arm over your chest to relieve the pain. Then, using your other arm, hold that arm at the elbow until you start to feel a little bit of tension in your muscles, and then release. This exercise should be done with both arms. This exercise is designed to strengthen the posterior rotator cuff muscles of the shoulder. Take a look at this video demonstration to see an illustration:

Posterior Stretch

The posterior stretch is similar to a less intense variant of the crossover arm stretch in terms of effectiveness. Begin by standing in a neutral stance and allowing your shoulders to relax. Afterwards, reaching across your body and resting your palm on the opposite shoulder with your afflicted arm is another option. Hold the afflicted arm in place with your non-injured arm to prevent further injury. This exercise, like the crossing arm stretch, helps to increase the strength of the posterior rotator cuff muscles in your shoulder.

Pendulum swing

Exercises such as pendulum swings can be quite beneficial in improving mobility in your shoulder joints. Stand tall and place your unaffected arm on a firm, sturdy platform to begin your exercise routine (like a table or railing). Maintaining a straight back when bending forward is important. Beginning now, begin to gently swing your wounded arm out from your side and then back in again. Attempt to move your afflicted arm in tiny circles after you have completed several of these in-and-out motions.

This exercise might help you improve the mobility in your shoulders.

Rotator Cuff Tear Exercises to Avoid

It has been explained to you how to perform a few exercises that will help relieve shoulder discomfort while also strengthening your rotator cuff muscles. Then there’s the question of which workouts should be avoided when dealing with a shoulder problem.

Some typical workouts might aggravate your pain and cause more harm than help, so be cautious when performing them. Exercises should be performed below the level of your shoulders and in front of your body, according to common rule of thumb.

Chest Exercises

Performing chest exercises such as dumbbell flies or pushups while recuperating from a shoulder injury is one of the most dangerous things you can do to yourself. You can easily overextend your rotator cuff muscles or squeeze them against the shoulder bones if you don’t use good form when you lift your arm above. If you have a rotator cuff muscular injury, you should contact with your doctor before performing any chest workouts to strengthen the muscle.

Dip Movements

The rotator cuffs in your shoulder are most likely to have been injured, and as a result, your shoulders will not have the entire range of motion necessary to perform dip motions adequately. It is possible that supporting your body weight while performing these actions would aggravate the ailment even worse.

Other Shoulder Exercises

Avoid allowing your shoulders to move in severe ranges of motion. Exercises that need you to use your upper arms behind your body, such as behind-the-neck shoulder presses, upright rows, and any other exercises that demand you to utilize your upper arms behind your torso. When performing any workouts with an injured shoulder, be sure to maintain your range of motion limited to what is comfortable for you at all times.

Preventing and Treating Rotator Cuff Injuries

Despite the fact that they are very frequent, rotator cuff injuries are completely avoided by performing shoulder exercises with appropriate form, using light weights, and avoiding misuse of your shoulders. If you have any questions concerning a rotator cuff injury or would want to learn more about your treatment options, make an appointment with a Resurgens Orthopaedic specialist today.

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