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Rotator Cuff Injury

Click here to download the Rotator Cuff Injury Patient Resource.

The rotator cuff is a group of four muscles which support and move the shoulder joint. A tendinopathy is a swelling and irregularity of the tendon, which can result from overuse, injury or degeneration of the tendon. A tear of one of the tendons can occur due to the weakened state of the tendon, or due to trauma to the shoulder.


What should I do to help reduce the pain?

  • Icing for 15-20 minutes 3 times daily, or when the pain gets aggravated/worse
  • Anti-inflammatories can help – ask your doctor about these
  • Physiotherapy – Your physiotherapist can help reduce pain by mobilising the shoulder joint and surrounding soft tissues, as well as providing you with exercises to help strengthen the shoulder and restore the integrity of the tendon.

What should I avoid?

  • Avoid any overhead activity as much as possible
  • Avoid heavy lifting
  • Avoid repetitive movements with the arm
  • If you are working at a computer, make sure you are taking regular breaks to help reduce the pain

How long will I take to recover?

If left untreated, pain from a tendinopathy or tear can lead to worsening pain and more restriction of the shoulder’s mobility. Once you have started your exercises prescribed by your physiotherapist, you should see improved pain and mobility after 6 weeks. Tendons are typically slow healers and can take up to 3-6 months to feel like they are back to normal. If the pain has not resolved your doctor may want to send you for further investigations such as an ultrasound scan or MRI.

Exercises to maintain mobility

The following exercises can be performed to help relieve pain and maintain the mobility of your shoulder. These should be performed 2-3 times daily, and should NOT cause any further discomfort.

COVID 19 & Telehealth Notice

At Proactive Physiotherapy we recognise that people still injure themselves, and are in pain, so we are still open for face-to-face consultations for the time being, In the interests of everybody's health we are trying to minimise these face to face treatments, so if your condition can be helped without face to face treatment we will offer you telehealth or phone consults.

For your safety, we have reduced physiotherapists hours to allow us to have only two physiotherapists and one receptionist in the clinic at any one time. We use screening questionnaires for everyone attending the clinic and have strict sanitising procedures in place.

For anyone that doesn't want to come into the clinic, our telehealth service, “Physio By Video” is up and running. Anybody who is interested in this service should contact us by email: physio@proactivephysio.com.au, or by phone on 40536222 and a physiotherapist can discuss how this works.

Reception will be attended between 830am and 5pm and Monday to Thursday and 830am to midday on Friday, or you can leave us a voice message at other times.

Thank you for your understanding. We wish you all safety and good health in the coming days and weeks.

Julie Faulks and the entire Proactive Physio team.