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How can physical therapy help a full thickness rotator cuff tear?

January 14th, 2022
Rotator Cuff Physical Therapy Exercises for Student-Athletes

Physical therapy can certainly help your full thickness rotator cuff tear. Typically, it’s used to help patients prepare for rotator cuff repair surgery. It can also be an awesome addition to your post-surgery recovery process. Read on to learn more about this condition and how physical therapists can work with you to address it.

Why choose physical therapy for your full thickness rotator cuff tear treatment?

A full thickness rotator cuff tear is when a rotator cuff tendon or muscle is torn completely through. Physical therapists have great skills that can help patients with this condition.  

Physical therapy can also help patients meet three common recovery goals: to decrease pain, to increase mobility, and to increase strength. To begin with, your physical therapist will assess your range of motion and joint stability. They will also assess your muscle strength and endurance as well as the severity of your symptoms.

Once they have assessed these parameters, they will determine which treatment techniques may be most helpful for you. 

3 techniques physical therapists can use to treat full thickness rotator cuff tears

Physical therapists can use many different modalities to treat your injured rotator cuff. These modalities may include techniques like: 

  1. Manual therapy — Many people also refer to this PT type as hands-on therapy. The reason is that manual therapy involves physical therapists using their hands to manipulate and mobilize the injured area. It can be used during physical therapy sessions to loosen up tight muscles and tendons before or after an injury. This can help reduce pain and increase movement in the shoulder.
  1. Range-of-motion exercises — These exercises are important for keeping shoulder joints flexible and strong, which can help prevent further injuries caused by stiffness and weakness. They can also help people regain the range of motion that was lost during surgery. Range-of-motion exercises are often done in combination with other therapeutic exercise types, like strengthening exercises. 
  1. Muscle strengthening exercises — Strengthening your shoulder muscles can help you regain control over your shoulder movements. That’s a key benefit for people who have a full thickness rotator cuff tear. Building strength in the shoulders can also improve posture. In addition, it can prepare you for more demanding shoulder movements, such as weightlifting or lifting objects over your head.

Find the help you need to recover from a full thickness rotator cuff tear at Rehab Access

Our Rehab Access physical therapists can help you recover from a full thickness rotator cuff tear. They can do a free screening on you to determine how much work your shoulder will need before or after surgery. They can also build you a unique physical therapy plan intended to ease your symptoms and help prevent them from coming back.

Contact our team today to learn more about our full thickness rotator cuff tear treatment services or to set up a free screening.