The rotator cuff is a group of muscles and tendons that attach to the bones of the shoulder joint, allowing the shoulder to move and keeping it stable.
Drugs like ibuprofen and naproxen will help reduce swelling and pain. If you are taking these medicines every day, make sure that you tell your health care provider so that they can monitor your general health.
Ice packs applied to the shoulder 20 minutes at a time, 3 - 4 times a day, can help when your shoulder is painful.
Learning how to take care of your shoulders to avoid placing extra stress on them can help you heal from an injury and avoid re-injury.
Your position and posture during the day and night can help relieve some of your shoulder pain:
A few other tips for taking care of your shoulder include:
Consider making some changes around your home so it is easier for you to take care of yourself. Store everyday items you use in places you can reach easily. Keep things with you that you use a lot, like your phone.
Your surgeon will refer you to a physical therapist to learn exercises for your shoulder.
Over all, it is best to avoid sports activity until you have no pain during rest or any activity. Also, when examined by your doctor or physical therapist, you should have:
While you may feel impatient and want to push the time frame of your recovery, you should think about a few points. If you return to sports too soon, the way you use your shoulder and your elbow, spine, and hip will be different. Your risk of injury to any of these areas increases.
Returning to any demanding sport should be gradual and not at full force in the beginning. Ask your physical therapist about the proper technique you should use when doing your sports activity.
III FA, Fehringer EV, Lippitt SB, Wirth MA, Rockwood Jr. CA. Rotator cuff. In: Rockwood CA Jr, Matsen FA III, Wirth MA, Lippitt SB, eds. The Shoulder. 4th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2009:chap 17.
Greiwe RM, Ahmad CS. Management of the throwing shoulder: cuff, labrum and internal impingement. Orthop Clin North Am. 2010 Jul;41(3):309-23.
Updated by: C. Benjamin Ma, MD, Assistant Professor, Chief, Sports Medicine and Shoulder Service, UCSF Department of Orthopaedic Surgery. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc.
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