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Rotator cuff tears are a common problem. In fact, most Palmdale Physical Therapist will tell you that rotator cuff tears become a conventional finding as individuals get older.

Studies have shown that 30% of those under the age of 70 and 70% of those over age 80 have a rotator cuff tear. And these are people with no symptoms of shoulder pain.

Physical therapy is often suggested as one of the first treatments for a rotator cuff tear. Nonetheless, most Palmdale Physical Therapist will tell you that physical therapy doesn’t help the torn rotator cuff tendon heal. So why is this often used as the first treatment?

Understanding The Treatment of a Rotator Cuff Tear

Our Palmdale Physical Therapist say that the goal of treating a rotator cuff tear is not necessarily to heal the torn tendon. People can often achieve pain relief and improved strength by relieving inflammation and restoring shoulder joint mechanics.

This can be easily done with physical therapy and anti-inflammatory treatments, including medications, cortisone injections, and ice application.

How To Go About Physical Therapy

Ultimately, the goal of physical therapy is to help improve the function of the muscles which are around the shoulder. Most individuals, athletes, and weight-lifters included, only strengthen a few of the large muscles around the shoulder.

Physical therapy targets the smaller, but important muscles around the shoulder that are commonly neglected. By strengthening these muscles, therapy can help compensate for damaged tendons and improve the mechanics of the shoulder joint.

Our Palmdale Physical Therapist say it can be hard to grasp the concept that the rotator cuff tear does not necessarily need to close for the pain to be resolved. However, the truth is that the vast majority of patients who have a rotator cuff tear will not need surgical treatment.

Determining when surgery is necessary for a rotator cuff tear generally depends on a handful of factors, which you can easily talk about with your doctor.