3 Things You Should Know About Rotator Cuff Recovery

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3 Things You Should Know About Rotator Cuff Recovery

Are your dishes all on the bottom shelf because reaching is just too painful? Are you struggling to get into your comfy sweater on a chilly autumn day?  You may have a shoulder injury.

A common one we see here at Core PT is a tear in the rotator cuff. You may associate this injury with famous athletes who get sidelined for a season after experiencing this condition. But a torn rotator cuff can happen due to a fall, an accident, chronic overuse (such as lifting heavy objects at your job) or from degeneration due to aging.

If you’ve been diagnosed with a torn rotator, here’s a few things you should know:

  1. There are two different kinds


A partial tear is when only part of your tendon has been cut. A full thickness tear is when the entire tendon has been torn from the bone. What kind of treatment you receive can depend on what kind of injury you received.


  1. You may need several different types of treatment.

Just like an athlete cross-trains to make themselves more effective, so also a torn rotator cuff may need multiple types of treatment to help aid in full recovery. Depending on what your doctor recommends, you may need medication, rest, exercise, physical therapy or surgery.

Even if surgery is the route you need to go, physical therapy will still be a part of it. You may need to do certain strength-training exercises beforehand to get your shoulder “surgery-ready” and you will need to go through physical therapy afterwards to regain full use post-op.

  1. Your mentality can affect your recovery.


Let’s face it, healing from a torn rotator cuff is painful. Patience can be a difficult thing to have during this process. One thing that can help is to track your progress. Keep a journal of what your pain scale is each day, how much function you had and what your strength was like. Record different things you tried to improve your condition and what their results were.


This will not only be helpful to your doctors, it will also do wonders for your mentality. If you see that you are progressing a little bit every day, you will be more likely to stick to your recovery regimen.

Core PT is your partner in recovery. We specialize in upper-body pain management, including a wide range of shoulder issues. In the state of Iowa, you don’t need permission from your doctor to seek out treatment from a physical therapist, so you may be able to make an appointment with us directly!


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