Physical therapy and rehabilitation for focus on improving range of motion and gradually building muscle strength. Physical therapy may be used alone to manage rotator cuff disorders or as part of recovery after surgery.
Experts are studying a new treatment for chronic calcifying of the rotator cuff. The treatment uses to create shock waves that destroy calcium deposits in the rotator cuff tendons. Good results were reported, with pain relief and increased range of motion. But more studies are needed to see whether these results can be duplicated and to measure long-term results.2
Other Treatment Choices
Physical therapy can reduce pain in the soft tissues (such as the muscles, ligaments, and tendons), improve function, and build muscle strength. A physical rehabilitation program should be developed by a doctor, a physical therapist, or an athletic trainer. Exercises for rotator cuff disorders include:
- Gentle stretching exercises. These are oftenthe most important part of physical therapy for rotator cuff disorders,especially when stiffness is a major symptom. Stretching includesrange-of-motion exercises.
- Strengthening exercises. In general, youwill not start these exercises until your rotator cuff has healed and is ableto perform the stretching and range-of-motion exercises comfortably.Strengthening exercises can help you build and keep shoulder function andstability.
- Rotator cuff problems: Exercises you can do at home (with your doctor's approval)
Some physical therapists may use other techniques to relieve pain and reduce muscle spasms, such as massage or .
What To Think About
Although completing a rehab program may be difficult, a successful outcome after surgery depends on your commitment to treatment. If you follow your physical therapy plan closely and get help when you need it, you are more likely to restore shoulder strength and movement.
Common difficulties with rehab programs include:
- Impatience during the long periods of restneeded to let your shoulder heal. Athletes and people whose jobs depend uponthe use of their arms may find it hard to be patient with this aspect oftreatment.
- Not performing exercises as often asprescribed.
- Using incorrect technique when doing exercises.