Living with a torn rotator cuff can be painful. Since it’s made up of multiple tendons and muscles that cover the shoulder, a single tear could make it difficult to lift or use your arm. Fortunately, physical therapy may be able to help restore function. Here’s a closer look at how therapy sessions are used to treat this condition.
Physical Therapy for Torn Rotator Cuffs
Can a Physical Therapist Help?
Although physical therapy can’t heal a torn muscle, it can help patients strengthen other muscles in the shoulder, which can alleviate pain and improve function. The success rate is high enough that surgery is often not a necessary course of action.
In one study detailed in the Journal of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery, only 26% of the participants went on to have surgery, while 74% of participants experienced enough pain relief and function improvement to avoid the downtime, costs, and health risks associated with shoulder surgery.
What Should You Expect?
Physical therapy will begin with a careful examination by a trained physical therapist. Any previous imaging will be carefully reviewed, and you‘ll be able to talk with your doctor about the symptoms. The physical therapist will check range of motion by asking you to raise, lower, and move your arms, and you’ll also be asked about the location and severity involved with each movement.
After the therapist understands your symptoms, they’ll help you through a very specific range of exercises designed to strengthen the shoulder. You’ll also receive paperwork designed to help with home exercises, helping you stay on the path to recovery.
Physical therapists can also use transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (commonly known as TENS) machines to send electrical impulses to the muscles to help them to relax. Massage therapy is another effective way to improve symptoms.
If you have shoulder pain due to a torn rotator cuff, reach out to the team at O’Fallon Pain Relief Associates. Since their inception, these trusted chiropractors and physical therapists have been committed to helping their patients improve function and alleviate pain using the most conservative methods, saving people time and money by avoiding surgery. Learn more about how they can help you to live a more comfortable life by visiting their website or by giving their office a call at (636) 978-3000.