• June 9, 2023

I Tore My Rotator Cuff: Now What?

Your rotator cuff is a small group of muscles that allows you to move your arm in various directions.

The rotator cuff contains four muscles: subscapularis, supraspinatus, infraspinatus, and teres minor. These muscles enable you to reach around, extend your arm, and perform all kinds of exercises. It’s important to recognize when you’ve had a rotator cuff tear and take the relevant steps you need in order to recover fully. Here’s a brief guide:

Immediately stop activities that make the pain worse

If you’ve sustained a rotator cuff tear in the gym or by doing other day-to-day activities, it’s vital that you halt this action or motion right away. Do not continue performing the activity that worsens the pain or exacerbates the injury. You should also stop lifting weights and reaching overhead in order to minimize strain on your shoulder and arm region.

Ice the region to alleviate swelling and inflammation

Use a cold pack or ice to alleviate swelling and inflammation in the region and minimize pain. Do not apply heat for at least the first 48 hours. It also helps to limit your mobility in the region and apply the cold treatment multiple times a day.

A woman crosses her arm while stretching it across her body.

Take anti-inflammatory pain medication to ease discomfort

You can use anti-inflammatory pain medication like NSAIDs to bring down pain and inflammation in the region. Your rotator cuff could be severely injured and needs to be monitored, so if the pain doesn’t improve with medication, you might need steroid injections. However, a professional will need to evaluate your rotator cuff tear and run imaging before administering these shots.

See a sports medicine or orthopedic specialist if pain persists

A sports medicine doctor like those who work in our hospital in Houston, Texas, will be able to evaluate the extent of the injury and determine whether it’s a complete or partial tear. He or she will then make treatment recommendations and tell you what lifestyle changes to make if you want to minimize further damage.

Visit TOPS Surgical Specialty Hospital to connect with our sports medicine physicians and orthopedic specialists in Houston, Texas, for help with your rotator cuff tear. You can also find doctors who practice across various other specializations if you need treatment for more specific conditions. Find the right doctor near you on our website and then schedule an appointment to get started.

Contact Us

  • Driving Directions