Relieving Pain From A Rotator Cuff Injury

If you have sustained a rotator cuff injury to your shoulder area while doing a sports activity, you may wonder what you can do to relieve the pain associated with the tear or strain you are dealing with. The rotator cuff is a series of tendons and muscles around the shoulder area. When they are overused or twisted in an abnormal way, pain is usually prevalent. Here are some ways to help relieve the pain of this type of injury while you are waiting for it to heal.

Resting Your Shoulder

It's best to avoid using the arm for a couple weeks after a rotator cuff injury. Your shoulder needs time to repair itself and resting it instead of moving it around will help the process. Any movements you make with your arm can be painful, so you will most likely try avoiding usage anyway. Have others help you reach for things or grab things in the room for you so you do not need to move your arm. Try making a conscience effort to allow it to rest.

Physical Therapy

After your shoulder has had some time to rest, you will most likely be referred to a physical therapy service to help you start regaining motion in the shoulder area. With the help from a therapist, easy exercises will be introduced so your shoulder has some slight movement in an attempt to strengthen the muscles in the area.

Exercises will be done frequently and your therapist will increase the intensity over time. This is an important part in the repairing the shoulder injury. Along with exercise, physical therapy will include ice or heat packs, electric stimulation of the muscle area, and massage. At home you can use heat to relieve any pain from the exercise routine. Take a hot bath or use a heating pad for twenty minutes after you arrive home to help relax the muscles you had just worked.


If your should still bothers you with a lot of pain after a few weeks of rest and therapy, you may want to look into having a corticosteroid injection. Your doctor will be able to administer it right in the office. This will take pain away from the site of the injury by lessening the amount of inflammation present in the muscle area. Your doctor may also prescribe oral medication to help relieve the pain in your shoulder. Talk with a clinic, like Eagle Center Physical Therapy, about the best options for your injury.