Returning to Sports Following Your Rotator Cuff Tear

Returning to Sports Following Your Rotator Cuff Tear

A rotator cuff tear can bench you for several weeks, but with proper care, you'll be back better than ever. The key is correct rehabilitation of your shoulder joint, and not returning to your sport too soon.

At Active Rehab Clinics in Park Ridge and Bucktown, Chicago, Illinois, Dr. Tony Zemlinsky has years of experience helping athletes recover from rotator cuff injuries.  Here are a few things to consider after a shoulder injury, and how we can help you return to sports safely.

Shoulder joint care after a rotator cuff tear

Your shoulder is a shallow ball-and-socket joint, which provides massive range of motion and flexibility thanks to the following soft tissue components:

The rotator cuff is a group of tendons and muscles that give your shoulder stability. When you tear your rotator cuff, you can cause significant instability. Without proper care, this can increase your chances of reinjury and permanent disability in your shoulder. 

Physical rehabilitation versus surgery

There’s a lot of controversy about whether or not a rotator cuff tear should be surgically addressed. Minimally invasive options like arthroscopic surgery can allow shoulder injuries to be repaired with less bleeding, risk of infection, and downtime than open methods. However, studies suggest that many patients with mild-to-moderate tears can heal fully and satisfactorily with physical therapy and rehabilitation. 

Shoulder conditioning

A shoulder conditioning program for rotator cuff tear recovery can span 4 to 6 weeks or longer. At Active Rehab Clinics, Dr. Zemlinsky develops a personalized, holistic treatment plan to help you regain strength, flexibility, and range of motion while reducing your shoulder pain. 

Depending on your condition, your treatment plan could include:

Key to full recovery from a rotator cuff tear is patience. If you return to sports too soon, you run the risk of another injury on top of the first, and the possibility of long-term shoulder instability and chronic pain.

We teach you a series of exercises and stretches that you can practice at home between appointments to maintain your recovery. We also inform you if you need to brace, support, or immobilize your shoulder at any time, and which activities to abstain from besides sports to help you recover more quickly.

If you’d like to learn more about reducing shoulder pain and getting back in action after a rotator cuff injury, please give our nearest location a call, or use the online booking tool to set up an appointment.

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