Conservative Treatments For Your Rotator Cuff Tear

The rotator cuff’s role is to keep your shoulder stable and allow the raising and twisting of your arm. Your shoulder has three primary bones held together by ligaments, tendons, and muscles. Because the rotator cuff has a lot of tendons and muscles, it can be damaged by normal wear and tear over time. Thus, there is a high possibility you may be one of the more than two million Americans affected by a rotator cuff injury, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Dr. Ronald Hess West Chester offers specialist diagnosis and treatment of rotator cuff tears. Diagnosing this shoulder condition can be difficult because it often has the pain and discomfort associated with other conditions like a neck injury or arthritis.

Rotator Cuff Tear

The causes of degenerative tearing of the rotator cuff are primarily bone spurs, a decrease in blood flow, and overuse. The degeneration of the shoulder bone may form bony growths on its top. The resulting bone spurs then rub against your tendons whenever you raise or lift your arms. The constant rubbing between the humerus and the shoulder’s top outer edge may cause partial or complete rotator cuff tear. Also, if you subject your shoulder to repetitive movements when performing a task or playing sports, the muscles and tendons can be stressed, leading to their tear.

Consequently, below are the conservative treatment options your rotator cuff tear specialist may recommend.

Ice therapy

The therapy involves applying ice packs to the affected shoulder area. If you have a rotator cuff tear, use ice therapy thrice a day to reduce inflammation and discomfort. Apply the ice packs for about 20 minutes and repeat the process after about four hours. Prolonged skin exposure to freezing temperatures can reduce blood flow, which causes permanent damage to nerves and the death of tissues.

Heat therapy

Exposing an injured rotator cuff to a heating pad or hot pad increases the blood delivered to the affected tissue. Since the torn rotator cuff receives sufficient nutrients, inflammation reduces, and the healing and recovery speed up.

You can also benefit from heat therapy by taking a warm bath or shower for about 20 minutes. This method is effective as it allows heat to reach into the deep locations you find tendons of the rotator cuff.

After every heat therapy session, subject the affected shoulder area to a moderate massage.


You can perform various physiotherapy exercises and stretches to help reduce your pain and restore the normal function of the rotator cuff.  Exercises and stretches can also help prevent any future tear or injury. For instance, you can perform scapular stabilization exercises and shoulder blade squeeze.

Start with light exercises and slowly transition to more intense exercises as the pain and discomfort reduce.


If the pain you experience from the rotator cuff tear is not slowing down, making you wake up at night, your doctor may treat you with corticosteroid injections. Corticosteroid injections have strong anti-inflammatory properties to help eliminate swelling and pain.

Contact Beacon Orthopedics & Sports Medicine today to schedule an appointment with a specialist in sports medicine and knee and shoulder treatments.

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