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 physiotherapy, it’s possible to make a full recovery. 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 of the tear, the physiotherapist may recommend different forms of treatment. 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 massage; stretching and strengthening exercises; ultrasound therapy; and electrical stimulation which helps reduce pain while increasing circulation in the area which helps speed up healing time.
Physiotherapists will also provide advice on how best to manage day-to-day activities and lifestyle changes that could further contribute towards recovery from a rotator cuff tear such as avoiding heavy lifting or engaging in activities that require repetitive overhead movements like painting or decorating walls/ceilings etc. 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, MSPT, PT, or one of the other physiotherapists at CARESPACE Health+Wellness in Kitchener and Waterloo. We are happy to listen and are here to help!