On Track Physiotherapy

Rotator Cuff Tear in Ann Arbor

Healing from Rotator Cuff Tears in Ann Arbor

Have you recently injured your shoulder in a fall or noticed intensifying pain and stiffness that makes daily activities difficult? A rotator cuff tear could be the culprit. Fortunately, the physical therapy experts at On Track Physiotherapy offer customized treatment plans to effectively manage pain, regain mobility, and resolve rotator cuff tears so you can get back to the active lifestyle you enjoy. Rotator cuff tears involve straining or tearing one or more of the muscles and tendons stabilizing the shoulder joint. This impairs your ability to lift, rotate, and move your arm freely without pain or weakness. If left untreated, tears can worsen over time leading to more significant mobility restrictions. The good news? With prompt physical therapy, most tears can heal completely.

At On Track Physiotherapy, our licensed physical therapists have extensive experience accurately assessing and resolving rotator cuff tears to quickly get you back to your favorite activities free of pain and limitations. Read on to learn more about symptoms, customized treatment techniques, and how we empower patients to resolve rotator cuff tears and prevent future complications.

Signs Your Shoulder Pain May Signal a Rotator Cuff Tear

The key signs and symptoms indicating a possible rotator cuff tear include:

  • Sharp or worsening shoulder pain when lifting your arm overhead, reaching behind your back, lying on your side, or during certain movements
  • Noticeable pain at night disrupting sleep
  • Inability or limited capacity to lift your arm overhead or rotate it outward
  • Arm weakness, numbness, or tingling down to the elbow
  • An audible popping or snapping sensation when moving your shoulder
  • Limited range of motion and flexibility in the shoulder and arm
  • Previous shoulder injury or dislocation
  • Swelling, bruising, or deformity around the shoulder joint

If you’re experiencing one or more of these symptoms, prompt physical therapy assessment and treatment can promote healing, reduce pain, improve mobility, and help resolve a rotator cuff tear before it advances.

Customized Care for Rotator Cuff Tears in Ann Arbor

At On Track Physiotherapy, our skilled physical therapists leverage the latest evidence-based techniques tailored to your unique injury, activity goals, and healthcare needs to effectively treat rotator cuff tears. A personalized care plan combines various methods proven to accelerate healing, increase mobility and strength, resolve symptoms long-term, and prevent future complications or reinjury. Common rotator cuff tear treatment techniques include:

Pain Management and Inflammation Reduction
To alleviate pain and swelling early in treatment allowing comfortable engagement in therapeutic exercises, our therapists utilize:

  • Manual therapy – Hands-on soft tissue massage and joint mobilization
  • Therapeutic modalities – Ultrasound, ice/heat therapy
  • Medication – Recommending over-the-counter pain relievers compatible with therapy

Improving Range of Motion and Flexibility
We incorporate targeted stretches and range of motion exercises to:

  • Increase shoulder mobility free of painful limitations
  • Restore smooth, pain-free arm rotation
  • Reduce stiffness from scar tissue formation
  • Prepare the joint for progressive strength-building

Strengthening Stabilizing Muscles
Customized exercises focus on rebuilding strength in muscles surrounding the shoulder joint including:

  • Rotator cuff group – Responsible for rotating and stabilizing the shoulder joint
  • Deltoids – Enable overhead arm lifting and reaching motions
  • Scapular stabilizers – Anchor shoulder blade providing broader joint support

Education for Effective Self-Management
To empower your active participation in recovery and foster long-term tissue health, our therapists provide education on:

  • The rotator cuff tear healing timeline
  • Signs of reinjury risk
  • Proper stretching and strengthening technique
  • Posture correction during daily activities
  • Safe return to work and athletic activity timelines

With this comprehensive care, most patients achieve full resolution of rotator cuff tear-related pain and mobility limitations, avoiding more invasive surgical interventions.

Frequently Asked Questions

If you’re wondering whether physical therapy is right for you, here are answers to some common rotator cuff tear and treatment-related questions:

Can a rotator cuff tear heal on its own?
While very small tears may heal independently through rest and reduced activity, most require structured physical therapy for optimal recovery. Early specialized care significantly improves healing outcomes.

What are 2 warning signs of a rotator cuff tear?

  1. Inability to lift your arm overhead without sharp pain
  2. Noticeable weakness or instability trying to reach behind your back

What is the best way to treat rotator cuff tear?
Early physical therapy is the first-line treatment providing pain relief, mobility restoration, strength building, and self-management skills. Over 90% of patients avoid surgery through prompt conservative care.

How to tell the difference between a rotator cuff tear and a tendon tear?
Rotator cuff tears involve one or more tendons surrounding the shoulder joint. If unsure, see your physician or physical therapist for imaging to confirm the location and degree of damage before starting therapy.

Reaching out promptly at the first signs of shoulder injury provides the greatest chance for swift and complete recovery. Call 734-972-6529 to schedule an evaluation with our rotator cuff tear specialists today.

Meet Your Rotator Cuff Tear Recovery Team

Our experienced physical therapists leverage over 15 years of combined expertise in orthopedic injury rehabilitation to accurately assess shoulder dysfunction and get you back to action quickly through customized care. Meet your recovery experts:

Dr. Greg Schaible, PT, DPT supports an active caseload focused on resolving chronic shoulder pain and dysfunction. He utilizes hands-on manual techniques combined with tailored therapeutic exercises to rebuild tissue health from injury or overuse.

Dr. Morgan Kennedy, PT, DPT brings extensive post-operative rotator cuff repair rehab experience using evidence-based protocols to safely restore movement and strength. She excels at managing complex shoulder cases.

We accept most major insurance plans and welcome self-pay patients. Explore our full range of orthopedic rehabilitation services here. Ready to get back to activity pain-free? Call 734-972-6529 now to get started.

About The Author

Dr. Greg Schaible is a licensed Physical Therapist specializing in Certified Strength & Conditioning and Sports Rehab. With years of experience in the field, Dr. Greg Schaible has dedicated his career to helping patients achieve their maximum physical potential and improve their quality of life. Currently practicing at On Track Physiotherapy in Ann Arbor, Dr. Greg Schaible employs a patient-centered approach, combining cutting-edge techniques and personalized care plans to address a wide range of physical conditions.

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Scott R

Greg was the best physical therapist I’ve ever had. Eliminated all pains related to running, he focused on the entire body chain, rather than an individual area of concern. Highly Recommended!

Eric Kennedy

Overall great place and staff. Started going there for chronic back and muscle pain and saw results immediately. Can’t recommend enough