A rotator cuff tear It can be caused by a sudden trauma to the shoulder during a sporting activity or simply by repetitive movement and excessive use of the joint. Small painful tears can develop, limiting your daily activities. If the tears are not serious and with your dedication to a therapy program, a rotator cuff injury can be cured without surgery.
To avoid surgery for a rotator cuff tear, the sooner you take care of the condition, the better your chance of recovery. Activities that cause pain, such as raising the arms above the head, lifting heavy objects at work, activities that can aggravate the shoulder, will have to stop. It will be important to immobilize the shoulder with a sling, ice on the shoulder two to three times a day and take anti-inflammatory medications for pain and swelling. The application of ice should be done for 15 to 20 minutes in each session. After two days, begin to alternate ice application sessions with heat application. This will send blood to the injured area and promote healing.
Most minor tears of the rotator cuff can heal without surgery and with good stretching and exercise. Once the pain has been relieved, it will be necessary to start a stretching routine to keep the shoulder flexible and promote healing. A physiotherapist can suggest a strengthening exercise routine that should be followed daily. The application of ice should always be done after exercising to relieve pain or swelling. Success in healing a rotator cuff tear without surgery will depend on how well you perform the rehabilitation routine.
If stretching or strengthening exercises are too painful, consider the possibility of a cortisone injection. This will have to be prescribed and administered by a doctor. This will relieve the pain enough to allow the exercise to continue and promote healing and strengthening. A complete recovery of a rotator cuff tear without surgery will require patience, commitment and self-discipline, and may take weeks and months of physical therapy.