• Premier Physical Therapy

Rotator Cuff Pathology (Shoulder)

Updated: Jan 21

Rotator cuff (RC) tears are common in the general population, and very often seen here at Premier physical therapy (PT). Tears are found in 30-50% of the population over 50 years old. The RC is a group of four muscles/tendons around the shoulder, and their main function is to lift and rotate the arm. Injuries can be caused from overuse, overhead athletes, trauma or a fall, or age related arthritis. Surgery is NOT always indicated, and we strive to prevent surgery as much as possible. Surgeons often recommend PT as the first attempt at treatment, as many RC tears can be treated conservatively with successful outcomes. However, in some cases, surgery is indicated, and we treat people after their repairs as well. Prognosis depends on many factors including age, the person’s general health, and the size of the tear.

After a RC repair, there is often pain, limited range of motion, and weakness present in the shoulder. We typically treat RC repairs based on a healing protocol as well as taking the person’s pain levels and goals into consideration. Our goals are to decrease pain, educate the patient, prevent re-tear, gain mobility of the shoulder, increase strength, and return to prior levels of function. Personal goals are a great way to help guide the rehab process. We believe the patient and the therapist should be a team working together to get the best results. We use research and experience to provide the best level of care.

Rotator Cuff tears and repairs are just a couple of the different shoulder issues we treat at Premier. We also treat shoulder fractures, labral tears, frozen shoulder, impingement syndrome, shoulder replacements, tendonitis, postural deficits affecting the shoulder, and more!

- Amy Foskett, PT, DPT

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