Rotator Cuff Injury - Treatments

The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Rotator Cuff Injury.
What treatments or physical therapy did you do for your rotator cuff injury?
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See what others are saying

Published: March 01

Two years ago I was about to ride out to work and and enjoy a summer beautiful day. I own a 650 Yamaha VStar Classic. I rode to the end of my driveway to get out on the street. My bike hadn't warmed up long enough and it stalled just as I turned into street. Luckily, it laid down gently and I jumped off easily, no problem. Except as it lay in the street, no cars or neighbors came out to help me pick it up. I remember watching video about how ladies can properly pick up their own motorcycles in the event no one else is around. Well, I turned my backside to the bike and lifted at the steering wheel and seat, up it came, so easy, just like in the video. But I must have forgotten to bend my legs to absorb the weight. After I rode to work and got off the bike and the initial "adrenaline rush" wore off, my left arm began to throb and hurt. After about 3 days and much pain, I went to see my doctor and get x-rayed. He said the rotator cuff wasn't torn but certainly was damaged. He did not advise any treatment until the swelling and pain resided. Essentially I did not receive any physical therapy or treatment other than some mild pain pills, but an achy pain lingered off/on for about 6 months, especially at night. I was told to elevate my arm over my pillow at night and not sleep on that side but on my back. Today, two years later, my shoulder still sometimes aches/pains in cold weather and I still can't lift my elbow to 45 degree level when exercising. Moral of the story, wait for someone to help you pull up anything heavier than your own weight. Don't try to be "super woman" like I did. Better yet, keep fit in a regular exercise program and weight lifting to prepare yourself for any heavy lifting of any kind in any emergency. I'm 60 yrs. old and very fit for my age, but you can injure or damage yourself at any time, when you least expect it..

Published: February 07

I am now 80 yrs. old - about five years ago I ended up in a storm in my sailboat (30 footer) and dropped the anchor to wait it out swinging on the anchor. Things worsened so lifted anchor to move into docks nearby. In lifting anchor felt a sharp paint run through my shoulder but kept lifting the anchor as the anchor rode was very taut and hard to pull. Finally got it up and docked nearby. Shoulder pained me quite heavily then. Over time things seemed to improve and x-rays at the time did show a "double tear" but it felt like it was healing to a point of almost forgetting about it. All seemed fine until a further sailing venture through winching in the main and tailing at the same time resulted in another sharp pain and then I realized I was stupid in doing just that. Docs proposed operating to do one of two things - either relieve the pain or give me more use of the arm which meant two different approaches from a specialist which I thought odd. Anyway I did not go for surgery as the recovery period for again use of the arm was to be around six months. Delayed and finally said no to surgery and here I am today - still sore but not that bad and not taking any pain killers as pain only there if I use the arm the wrong way. Hope this will help someone..