Non-Operative Rotator Cuff Tear Treatment

In about 50% of patients, nonsurgical treatment relieves pain and improves function in the shoulder. Shoulder strength, however, does not usually improve without surgery.

Nonsurgical Treatment

Nonsurgical treatment options may include:

Rest

Your doctor may suggest rest and and limiting overhead activities. He or she may also prescribe a sling to help protect your shoulder and keep it still.

Activity modification

Avoid activities that cause shoulder pain.
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication. Drugs like ibuprofen and naproxen reduce pain and swelling.

Strengthening exercises and physical therapy

Specific exercises will restore movement and strengthen your shoulder. Your exercise program will include stretches to improve flexibility and range of motion. Strengthening the muscles that support your shoulder can relieve pain and prevent further injury.

Steroid injection

If rest, medications, and physical therapy do not relieve your pain, an injection of a local anesthetic and a cortisone preparation may be helpful. Cortisone is a very effective anti-inflammatory medicine.

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