Rehabilitating Your Rotator Cuff in Park Slope: How Personal Training and Physical Therapy Can Get You Back in the Game

Seeking treatment for a rotator cuff injury in Park Slope, Brooklyn? Don’t worry, this isn’t the end of the road for you – PhysioRX has you covered!

Ryan Brennan

Rotator cuff injuries are some of the most common injuries among athletes today – especially those who play overhead sports, such as baseball, softball, cricket, swimming, volleyball, tennis, and football. 

It’s the type of injury Kyrie Irving suffered during his first season with the Brooklyn Nets – a season many Park Slope residents were hoping would end with a championship, but it only ended in disappointment. 

But sports aren’t the only culprit here.

And athletes aren’t the only ones at risk. 

Improper form or technique while lifting heavy objects, falling on an outstretched arm, and even reaching into your backseat to grab your purse or briefcase – you’d be surprised at how common these injuries are.

In fact, most people with a torn rotator cuff have no injury at all. This is called a degenerative tear, which is caused by repetitive stress and use of the shoulder – but the natural aging process also plays a role.

So, how can we recover from a torn rotator cuff?

Most rotator cuff injuries (including partial tears) won’t require surgery. They will, however, require at least two months of physical therapy and further personal training to prevent the injury or tear from returning. 

That’s where we come in. 

At PhysioRX, our philosophy is simple – manage the pain, then strengthen the shoulder. And, in the off chance surgery is needed, we take extra precautions to ensure you make the comeback of a lifetime. 

Pain Management: Helping You Feel Confident Again

Rotator cuff injuries aren’t pleasant, and pain can range from mild and moderate to severe and intense – depending on the cause. Pain usually worsens while moving, rotating, or lifting the arm or shoulder.

This, of course, can have a negative impact on your life. 

Limited movement, stiffness, chronic pain, discomfort, swelling, cracking or popping sounds, and an inability to complete everyday tasks are some of the many challenges RCT patients often experience. 

Here are some of the things you can do to mitigate the pain: 

  • Rest the injured shoulder to allow healing.
  • Avoid activities that aggravate pain (triggers).
  • Apply ice packs to the injured area for 15-20 minutes several times per day.
  • Take over-the-counter pain medication, but only if directed to do so. 
  • Use a heating pad or warm compress for 15-20 minutes before stretching.
  • Modify your work or exercise routine to minimize stress on the injured shoulder.
  • Using supportive devices such as slings or braces can help stabilize the shoulder joint.

Managing the pain is often the first step in the process. It’s not only the primary source of the patient’s discomfort, but relieving them of that pain provides a dose of hope that things will get better soon. 

Strength, Flexibility, Motion: Real Progress Begins When the Pain Ends

Once the pain stops (or, at the very least, becomes tolerable), we like to turn our focus to improving the strength, flexibility, and range of motion – though that process really begins during pain management. 

It’s not just about feeling better – it’s about being better. 

And avoiding re-injury, of course. 

The goal is to progressively increase demands on the shoulder in a controlled manner with a combination of stretches, exercises, and lifestyle modifications – all of which are monitored by your physical therapist. 

At PhysioRX, our programs include the following: 

  • Stretching - helps lengthen the muscles and tendons in the shoulder area while encouraging proper alignment, flexibility, function, blood flow, healing, and the transport of nutrients. 
  • Range of Motion Exercises - these types of exercises involve moving your shoulder through its full range of motion. Examples include pendulum swings, wall walks, and assisted arm rotations.
  • Strengthening Exercises - rest is important initially, but strengthening exercises are crucial for regaining strength and function in the shoulder. We’ll build an exercise plan that works for you.
  • Posture Correction - form and technique (not just while exercising, but in everyday life) play an important role in preventing injury. We’ll help you fix your posture to reduce shoulder strain.

There’s no such thing as a cookie-cutter solution or treatment for rotator cuff injuries. Everyone’s body is different and, therefore, requires a unique approach to feeling and performing their best. That’s why we recommend working with a physical therapist and personal trainer to ensure the right steps are taken. 

Rotator Cuff Surgery: How to Make a Triumphant Return

Treating an injured rotator cuff generally begins with pain management and physical therapy, but what do we do when conservative treatments fail? What do we do if non-surgical measures end up falling short?

As much as we try to avoid surgery, sometimes it’s the only option. 

Generally, surgery is considered for full-thickness rotator cuff tears that cause significant pain and loss of function that has not improved with rest, activity modification, physical therapy, and other treatments. 

You can think of it as a last resort. 

While we don’t perform surgery, we do specialize in post-surgery recovery. Our team of personal trainers and physical therapists will work side-by-side with you as you shred the discomfort and improve mobility.

We can’t always avoid rotator cuff surgery, but our goal is to help you avoid needing it again in the future. With the right lifestyle changes and therapy program, we’ll have you back to your normal self in no time!

PhysioRX: Your Comeback Story Starts Right Here!

Did you recently injure or tear your rotator cuff? Are you experiencing an aching pain in your shoulder that gets worse when you try to lift or move your arm? Have you recently undergone rotator cuff surgery? 

If you answered ‘yes’ to any of those questions, then you’ve come to the right place. 

Welcome to PhysioRX – your ticket to a healthier life in Park Slope, Brooklyn. 

We’re not your typical personal trainer, and we’re certainly not your typical physical therapist. Our experts are a little bit of both, but with a brand new perspective on what it takes to not only recover from injury, but thrive in our post-injury body. Book an intro consultation today to learn more about how we can help you!

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