Question:I think I have a torn rotator cuff but I don't want surgery. Is there something I can do to help myself?
Answer:If you do have a torn rotator cuff, you should have this verified by your doctor. Some tears should be repaired by surgery. Minor tears and some larger ones can be managed without surgery but you should do this with your doctor's help to prevent further injury.
Some ways of helping a painful shoulder that your doctor may recommend are:
Alternate periods of ice and heat to reduce swelling inside the shoulder and to relax the muscles
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications such as aspirin or ibuprofen to relieve the pain and reduce swelling
Keep your shoulder still; this could mean using a sling, or just being very careful
Don't lift or stretch over your head
After a few days, exercising your shoulder with special exercises to strengthen it, keep it limber, and to prevent further injuryP.O.Zingg, MD, et al. Clinical and Structural Outcomes of Nonoperative Management of Massive Rotator Cuff Tears. In The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery. September 2007. Vol. 89-A. No. 9. Pp. 1927-1934.
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