Rotator Cuff Tear Treatment

Fitness Physiotherapy in Newcastle treat rotator cuff injuries with evidence based treatments for pain relief.


Fitness Physiotherapy in Newcastle treat rotator cuff injuries with evidence based treatments for pain relief and return to sport and daily activities.  Evidence based treatments have been shown to be effective through clinical research, giving people a successful return to sport and life. shoulder pic                                   

Shoulder joint anatomy


The shoulder is a complex ball and socket joint, made up of the glenoid (socket) and humeral head (ball).   In between the two bones is cartilage.  The collar bone comes across the front to meet the shoulder blade.

Ligaments and a surrounding capsule hold the joint together, keeping the joint stable with the muscles and tendon which also provides the movement.


Rotator cuff tendon tears


What is the rotator cuff?


The rotator cuff are made up of tendons that surround the shoulder joint to provide stability as well as provide movement by transferring the contractions of the muscles to the joint. The muscle of the rotator cuff include the supraspinatus, infraspinatus, subscapularis and teres minor.


muscles of the rotator cuff


How does the rotator cuff tendon tear?


Rotator cuff tendons can become torn resulting in pain with reduced strength and function.  It can be torn with sudden excessive or smaller repetitive forces where the tendon structure isn't strong enough to meet the demands of the muscle contractions.

There are many factors that contribute to the likelihood of the tendon to tear, these can be be summarised as per the diagram.

factors that cause tearing in the cuff


What is the treatment for a rotator cuff tear?


Rotator cuff tendons respond very well to physiotherapy.  It is important to get the right physiotherapy and rehab as no tears and people are the same.  Programs have to be individually tailored and progressed based on milestones achieved.

Current evidence and guidelines suggest a trial of good physiotherapy This includes education and understanding of the injury, advice on the correct amount of load management and importantly a steady graded semi-supervised strengthening program.


How long does it take the rotator cuff injury take to repair?


The time for recovery is dependent on biopsychosocial factors and varies depending on the person and how much each factor impacts on their recovery.


What other things can you use to treat rotator cuff tears if physiotherapy doesn't work?

  • rotator cuff repair surgery
  • cortisone injections
  • subacromial decompressive surgery
  • reverse shoulder replacement surgery