Rotator Cuff Tear Treatment – Does Not Always Mean Surgical Intervention
Just because you have damaged your rotator cuff, it does not guarantee that you are going to need surgery. Rotator cuffs get injured in a variety of ways and every injury will be different depending on how it occurred in the first place.
Simply because you have managed to tear your rotator cuff, it does not guarantee that you are going to need surgery. People injure their rotator cuffs in a variety of ways and each injury can be different depending on how you managed to acquire it in the first place.
If you think of the tendons of the rotator cuff as being just like an old tow rope, I say old simply because that's how my rotator cuff felt when I tore it. If you tow too many cars with the rope or allow it to rub against something sharp, it might begin to get frayed, get worn a bit. and consequently weaken.
It might be that you try towing something that is too heavy and end up stretching the rope, pulling the fibres apart. Pull away too quickly when you are towing and put a sudden strain on a tow rope and it might simply snap or come away from the car.
Exactly the same could happen to the muscles and tendons of the rotator cuff. You can just wear them out with repetitive actions, you can overload them and pull the fibres apart or if you are really unlucky you can end up snapping them completely.
Virtually all complete or full thickness tears will require surgery. If you have succeeded in detaching the tendon from the bone you will definitely be looking at surgery to correct it.
I am happy to say , however, most or nearly all partial rotator cuff tears can be sorted out without surgery, providing you take them seriously right from the start and don't try carrying on regardless.
A rotator cuff tear, even a small one, will cause inflammation of the tendons. The inflammation can cause impingement which basically means that your tendons are getting pinched or caught by bone every time that you move your shoulder. Lifting your arm above your shoulder may be painful, reaching behind you will be painful, you will probably find that getting to sleep is difficult because you will not be able to put your weight on your injured shoulder.
You need to listen to the message that your muscles are sending because each pain is a sign of further damage being done. It is essential to rest the shoulder, avoiding any of the movements that cause pain or discomfort.
Rotator cuff tear treatment will start with rest to allow the muscle to begin repairing, combined with treating any inflammation. Try using anti-inflammatory drugs like Ibuprofen, if that does not work, a steroid injection may be called for. You also need to treat the injury with ice packs to reduce inflammation.
Once the inflammation has subsided movement will become easier. It will not be perfect immediately and that is where exercise helps to build up the rotator cuff muscles and get the shoulder joint moving again. This will be exercises using low weights or resistance aimed at isolating the muscles of the rotator cuff. Using large weights will just get the major muscles working and either ignore or at worst damage the rotator cuff muscles.
The good news is that, because of that, most of these exercises are suitable to be done at home.
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If you want to know what rotator cuff tear treatment fixed my shoulder without the surgery that I was told I needed, check out my story at