Rotator cuff tears are injuries to the tendons that surround the shoulder joint. These tendons help to keep the shoulder stable and allow you to move your arm in different directions. When a rotator cuff tear occurs, it can cause pain, weakness, and decreased range of motion in the shoulder.
Physical therapy is a common treatment for rotator cuff tears. It can help to reduce pain, improve range of motion, and strengthen the muscles around the shoulder. The specific exercises that you will do in physical therapy will vary depending on the severity of your tear and your individual needs. However, some common exercises include:
- Range of motion exercises: These exercises help to improve the range of motion in your shoulder. They may involve moving your arm in different directions, such as forward, backward, and side to side.
- Strengthening exercises: These exercises help to strengthen the muscles around your shoulder. They may involve using resistance bands or weights.
- Proprioceptive exercises: These exercises help to improve your body’s awareness of the position of your shoulder. They may involve doing exercises with your eyes closed or in different positions.
In addition to exercises, physical therapy may also include other treatments, such as:
- Manual therapy: This involves using hands-on techniques to improve the range of motion and reduce pain in your shoulder.
- Cryotherapy: This involves applying cold therapy to your shoulder to reduce pain and inflammation.
- Heat therapy: This involves applying heat therapy to your shoulder to relax muscles and improve blood flow.
Physical therapy can be an effective treatment for rotator cuff tears. It is important to follow your physical therapist’s instructions carefully and to complete all of the exercises that they prescribe. With time and effort, you can recover from a rotator cuff tear and regain full function in your shoulder.
Here are some additional tips for getting the most out of physical therapy for a rotator cuff tear:
- Be an active participant in your treatment. Ask questions and let your physical therapist know how you are feeling.
- Do your exercises at home as instructed.
- Be patient. It takes time to recover from a rotator cuff tear.
- If you have any concerns, talk to your physical therapist.