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How Physiotherapy Can Help With Rotator Cuff Tears

physiotherapy for rotator cuff tears

The rotator cuff consists of four muscles that connect the shoulder blade to the shoulder joint. A rotator cuff tear occurs when there is damage to one or more of these muscles, resulting in pain and limited mobility. It can be a very debilitating injury, but with the help of physio, it’s possible to make a full recovery throughout all of the stages of a rotator cuff tear. Let’s look at how physiotherapy helps with rotator cuff tears.

The Benefits of Physiotherapy for Rotator Cuff Tears

Physiotherapy can help both reduce pain and improve mobility following a rotator cuff tear. Depending on the severity, physiotherapists may recommend different forms of treatment for rotator cuff tears. For example, if the tear is minor, exercises such as stretching and strengthening may be enough to help restore function. If the tear is more severe, surgery may be necessarily followed by a period of intensive rehabilitation under the guidance of a physiotherapist.

The aim of any form of physio treatment is to reduce inflammation and restore normal movement in the shoulder area while also improving strength and restoring muscle balance around the shoulder joint. Treatment typically includes ice or heat applications; soft tissue techniques; stretching and strengthening exercises; ultrasound; and electrical stimulation which helps reduce pain while increasing circulation in the area which helps speed up healing time.

Your physiotherapist may also recommend massage therapy or chiropractic treatment for your rotator cuff tear.

Your physiotherapist will help you with modifying aggravating activities to settle the symptoms down and then building back up towards the things you love to do! This advice will help you avoid aggravating your injury further as well as aid in your recovery from it much quicker than if you were to try self-treatment methods alone.

Rotator cuff tears can cause significant pain and limited mobility but with proper physiotherapy treatment, it’s possible to make a full recovery. Physiotherapists have experience in treating this type of injury so they are able to develop an effective plan tailored specifically to each individual’s needs. Through various treatments such as ice/heat applications, stretching exercises, and lifestyle modifications, physiotherapists will be able to support clients in making a full recovery from their rotator cuff tears without having to resort to surgery or long periods away from work/leisure activities, etc.

If you have any questions or would like to explore further, please book a free, no-charge online appointment with either myself. Eric Bowman, BSc, MPT, PT, or another physiotherapist in Waterloo or Kitchener at CARESPACE. We are happy to listen and are here to help!

Eric Bowman, BSc, MPT, PT

Eric Bowman, BSc, MPT, PT

Physiotherapist Eric Bowman graduated with a B.Sc. in Honours Kinesiology from the University of Waterloo in 2013 where he studied under world famous back researcher Stuart McGill. After completing his B.Sc. he researched exercise and osteoporosis under Lora Giangregorio at the UW Bone Health lab before completing his Masters of Physical Therapy at Western University in 2015 and becoming Canadian Powerlifting Union Coaching Workshop Certified in 2018. Eric’s areas of interest are rehabilitation for sports injuries, the elderly, and people with chronic pain. Outside of his clinical work Eric also contributes to course development and guest lecturing in the Kinesiology program at the University of Waterloo and has contributed to course development and review in the Western University Physiotherapy program. Eric has also competed in powerlifting.

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