The Importance of Proper Physical Therapy for a Rotator Cuff Injury

May 14, 2019 7:52 am Published by Leave your thoughts

Physical therapy in Las Vegas is a crucial tool for recovery for people who suffer from a wide variety of sports injuries and accidents. A rotator cuff injury is one of the most common sports injuries, especially in sports that require a lot of throwing or repetitive arm motions. Physical therapy tends to be recommended as an initial form of treatment for such a tear, even though it doesn’t actually help the torn rotator cuff tendon heal.

So why exactly is physical therapy so important for rotator cuff injuries if that therapy itself isn’t something that spurs healing of the tendon? Here’s a little bit of information about rotator cuff injuries and the theory behind their treatment.

About Rotator Cuff Tears

As mentioned previously, rotator cuff injuries are relatively common, especially among athletes, but even among non-athletes. They become especially more common as people get older. Just 30 percent of people under the age of 70 have had a rotator cuff tear, while more than 70 percent of people over 80 have. They might not even feel any symptoms of shoulder pain when they’re dealing with a rotator cuff injury, which can make the diagnosis rather surprising.

Treating Rotator Cuff Tears

In treating a rotator cuff tear, the goal isn’t necessarily to heal the tendon. There are other ways you can achieve pain relief when you’ve got a rotator cuff injury, including relieving inflammation in the shoulder joint as much as possible to restore the mechanics of that joint to their proper state. This is why physical therapy is so important, and why it’s not very concerning that the therapy does not actually heal the tendon.

Along with physical therapy in Las Vegas, there are other anti-inflammatory treatments available, including cortisone injections, medications and ice application.

With physical therapy, the primary goal is always going to be to improve the function of the affected area. With rotator cuffs, that means the muscle surrounding the shoulder. For the most part, people only strengthen a few of the large shoulder muscles, even athletes or serious weight lifters.

Physical therapy, however, will target some of the smaller muscles around the shoulder that may be commonly neglected during exercise, but are still very important for the operation of the shoulder. In strengthening these muscles, you can ultimately compensate for the damage done to the tendons and improve the shoulder joint’s mechanics.

Pain Relief Plays a Role in Recovery

While it might be confusing to you at first that your goal with physical therapy is not necessarily to fully heal the tear, you should be aware that it will still give you the pain relief you need, and, in most cases, without having to undergo any surgical treatment to get it.

For more information about rotator cuff injuries, how they’re caused and the steps you can take to treat them, we encourage you to contact our skilled team of physical therapists today with any questions you have for them.

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