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Rotator Cuff Tear
Home Physical Therapy Injuries and Conditions Shoulder Rotator Cuff Tear

Rotator Cuff Tear

by Us3eNumb3rZERO

There are four muscles that make up the rotator cuff. The muscles that make up the rotator cuff are the subscapularis, supraspinatus, infraspinatus and the teres minor. These muscles help to hold your shoulder joint together and work to move your shoulder. The primary actions of these muscles are to stabilize the shoulder and they perform internal and external rotation. The mechanism of injury for a rotator cuff tear can be the result of falling on your arm, lifting a heavy object, reaching and lifting a heavy object, and/or using your shoulder in repetitive overhead motion, such as in sports – baseball, swimmers, or in everyday lifestyle: painting or housework.


  • Pain in the arm and shoulder
  • Weakness in the arm and shoulder
  • Loss of range of motion in your shoulder, especially with overhead motion
  • Weakness
  • Tenderness


Your physician will evaluate your injury by taking a complete medical history, including mechanism of injury, prior injuries and symptoms. Your physician will perform a complete physical examination of the shoulder. Your physician may also order an arthrogram or an MRI.


Treatment for an individual is decided based on the degree of the tear in the rotator cuff muscles and the amount of pain the individual is in. A major tear will require surgery, whereas smaller tears may be treated as follows:

  • Avoid strenuous activity for the shoulder.
  • Use ice for 20 minutes on with 40 minutes off throughout the day.
  • Physical therapy – your physical therapist will work with you to perform a series of exercises that strengthen the rotator cuff muscles. You can schedule an appointment today at one of our JAG Physical Therapy clinics across NJ, NY and PA.
  • Take an anti-inflammatory or pain medication as prescribed by your physician.


Your surgeon may perform an arthroscopic surgery in which they insert a tube into the shoulder. This tube has a light and camera on the end and it makes it easier for the doctor to see and repair the rotator cuff. They repair the rotator cuff by stitching together larger tears and trimming smaller tears, leaving those tears to heal naturally.


The best way to prevent a rotator cuff tear is to keep the muscles strong and in peak condition with shoulder exercises.

Schedule an Appointment with JAG Physcial Therapy

We understand how important it is to regain full shoulder function and get back to your daily activities. At JAG Physical Therapy, our experienced team is committed to providing you with comprehensive care and support throughout your recovery. Contact us or schedule an appointment at any of our locations across the Tri-State Area and start your journey to recovery today.

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