Rotator cuff tears are a common muscular injury where the muscles that connect and keep the shoulder together become damaged. This can happen due to a fall, a repetitive motion of the shoulders such as throwing or lifting, or from wear and tear due to age. While rotator cuff injuries are not life-threatening, they can cause disruptions in daily life and activities and intense pain throughout the shoulder.
Rotator cuff tears and rotator cuff tendinitis (inflammation of the shoulder’s tendons) make it hard to enjoy your favorite hobbies and activities. They can also lead to long-term disability or pain when not treated. If you are experiencing recurring shoulder pain, it may be time to talk to your physician about at-home remedies and treatments:
5 Ways To Treat Rotator Cuff Pain
Whether you’re experiencing a sports injury or feeling the pain from years of manual work, treating your rotator cuff injury is essential to your quality of life. Below are the five most common ways to treat tears and inflammation in the rotator cuff, all of which you can discuss with your PPOA pain specialist:
Rest, ice, compression, and elevation are the best at-home remedies for minor muscular injuries. Keep your shoulder elevated and allow swelling to naturally go down with the help of an ice pack. Resting the muscles is also essential in the first few days after injury, but don’t let them atrophy for too long. Talk to your doctor about exercises you can do in the days and weeks after the injury to strengthen the muscles and ensure proper recovery.
If your rotator cuff injury has caused significant damage to the muscle, you may need physical therapy. This can help build strength back in your muscles and prevent long-term pain from improper healing.
During the recovery period, your doctor may prescribe a variety of pain medications, from simple over-the-counter NSAIDs to stronger medications for severe injuries. We use pain medication at PPOA to help patients overcome the first few days after an injury, but do not recommend medication as a long-term solution for chronic rotator cuff pain.
Nerve blocking injections are sometimes used for rotator cuff injuries if other treatments are not sufficient. While this is not an ideal long-term solution, it can help patients recover without the need for surgery.
If the rotator cuff injury is severe, your doctor may recommend surgery for long-term relief and improved function of the shoulder. This is common in sports injuries and can ensure mobility in the shoulder even after a severe tear or dislocation.
PPOA offers an array of treatment options for our patients, tailored specifically to your needs and long-term goals. If you are interested in alternate options for a rotator cuff injury, contact your local PPOA clinic today.