If the symptoms of a rotator cuff injury don’t improve with conservative treatment or you’ve suffered a severe tear, chances are you will need surgery to repair the problem. After a rotator cuff repair, the next essential step in your healing is physical therapy from Roy Rivera Jr., PT, PhD, DPT, MCHES, and Jordan Boyd, PT, DPT, CSCS, at Crom Rehabilitation. They have extensive experience rehabilitating shoulders, helping you regain optimal strength and movement after a rotator cuff repair. To schedule an appointment, call the office in Houston and Pearland, Texas or use the online booking feature today.
Your rotator cuff is a group of four muscles and the tendons that attach the muscles to your shoulder. As a group, these muscles hold your arm in the joint and support the arm’s movement.
The rotator cuff endures an incredible amount of stress during everyday life, and it only increases if you participate in sports or work activities that involve repetitive overhead movements. For example, pitching, tennis, and painting increase your chances of injuring your rotator cuff.
While you may suffer an acute injury, most rotator cuff problems result from overuse injuries, tendon tears, and tendonitis.
Rotator cuff injuries generally cause symptoms such as:
These symptoms usually develop gradually as the injury progressively worsens. But an acute (sudden) injury causes immediate pain.
Your initial treatment for a rotator cuff injury includes resting the shoulder, immobilizing the joint when needed, anti-inflammatory medications, and physical therapy.
If your symptoms don’t improve or you have an extensive tear in the muscles or tendons, you may need surgery to repair the problem. Surgery typically involves trimming the tissues, removing damaged tissues, and reattaching the tendon to the bone (since most tears occur in the tendons).
After your rotator cuff is repaired, you need physical therapy to restore optimal strength and movement. Physical therapy is essential, not only to rehabilitate after surgery, but also because your shoulder is vulnerable to suffering another injury after surgery.
Even though you wear a sling after rotator cuff surgery, it’s still important to start physical therapy right away. While you’re in the sling, your therapist performs gentle, passive therapy that reduces your pain and starts to restore movement. As soon as your surgeon removes the sling, you begin more intensive rehabilitation.
Your physical therapy may include many different treatments. A few examples include manual therapy, soft tissue massage, and strengthening and range-of-motion exercises. You can also receive functional training and sport-specific rehabilitation if needed.
If you need physical therapy after a rotator cuff injury or repair, call Crom Rehabilitation or request an appointment online.