Rotator Cuff Injury: Symptoms, Exercises & Repair by Dr Cherif Tadros
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Rehab Exercises

Sometimes rotator cuff tears could be treated without surgery. For chronic shoulder pain or if the medical condition does not allow surgery, I often suggest to patient to do what is called the conservative treatment for rotator cuff healing. Half of the patients will succeed in rehabilitating their rotator cuff without surgery. However, a rotator cuff surgery may be mandatory in the case of a tear that is more than 3 cm long  and/or caused by a recent trauma or that causes a major weakness. An accidental tear to a young patient should also be operated as soon as diagnosed.

A rotator cuff rehabilitation program will start with anti-inflammatory medication and physiotherapy to improve range of motion and decrease pain.

Exercises for rotator cuff include stretching as well as strengthening the shoulder muscles as shown on the above pictures.

Picture: Rotator Cuff Exercises





Repetitive overhead work should be avoided as much as possible during the rehabilitation period. If the pain persists, then you could receive a cortisone injection in the shoulder. This kind of rotator cuff therapy could be very effective in alleviating the pain, but will not heal the shoulder. At most, this pain killer can be administered a couple of times if needed.




However, a chronic rotator cuff pain deserves a surgical consideration (showing symptoms for more than 6-12 months) as well a tear that shows to be longer than 3 centimeters and patients experimenting weaknesses along with pain.

Finally, a disadvantage of the conservative treatment is that the tear can aggravate through time.


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Important: Dr Cherif Tadros provides information on its website for educational purposes and to assure easy public access to health information. Information applicable to an individual medical condition or health-related problem should be discussed with your health care professional.

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