Time heals all wounds - including torn rotator cuffs

6 posts / 0 new


I'm sorry to hear about your injury! We know how painful that can be. My fiance injured his shoulder last fall, and the pain came on about a week after a night of bowling. The pain got so bad it almost brought him to his knees, but with no health insurance at the time, he was unable to see a doctor. We diagnosed the injury as best we could and did the same thing a doctor would have told us to do: Rest, ice and take OTC pain relievers. He wore a sling every day for the next two months, especially while walking, to keep the arm from hanging. He iced it at night and relied on ibuprofen or naproxen sodium for inflamation and pain relief.

It's important to keep using the sling as your shoulder starts to feel better, to reduce the risk of another tear. My fiance stopped using the sling too soon and found himself in a considerable amount of pain within days. He also found that his sleeping position aggravated the injury - if you're a side sleeper, both sides can cause problems either by pushing or pulling your arm too far. Your back or stomach would be the best sleeping positions while your shoulder heals. You may also find some exercises to strengthen the muscles around your shoulder, just be sure to keep your arm close to your body at a 45 degree angle.

I'm certainly not a doctor, just a copy editor in favor of taking the path of least destruction when treating injury and illness. I myself experienced the worst pain of my life with a herniated disc in my lower back. It was bad enough I lost all use of my right leg for a few weeks, but sure enough, it healed with time as these things do. Today, I walk just fine, and my fiance is sling-free and enjoys full use of his arm with only small twinges of pain here and there. All it takes is a little patience and a lot of time.

Good luck!

happyhumboldt's picture
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm


Several years ago, my mom had a rotator cuff problem that an orthopedist swore absolutely needed surgical repair. My mom refused both surgery and cortisone shots, and insisted that she wanted another alternative. The doctor gave her a prescription for physical therapy and told her it wouldn't work.

The physical therapy included electrical stimulation, some kind of massage and heat, and exercises both under the therapist's supervision and that she was supposed to do at home. She ended up taking fewer therapy sessions than she was prescribed, although she was pretty good about doing her at-home exercises. Years later, she is pain- (and surgery-) free.

Good luck to you.

deniselinde's picture
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Thom -- I've got the same darn thing. Joe Gandelman (moderatevoice.com) recommended "Wobenzym," a German natural anti-inflammatory and darned if it doesn't seem to work! Amazon has it -- "Wobenzym N."

Then (of course) Tylenol, or whatever. Give it a rest. Don't try to pick up Higgins or other heavy objects.

Hope it works for you, too.

texoats's picture
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Hi Thom - As a chiropractor who has practiced for 17 yrs, I have found the best thing to help torn rotator cuffs is Transverse Friction Massage. I'm sure you could find a chiropractor or massage therapist who does this technique. You'll get really fast results, although the process can be unpleasant. You might also want to get the shoulder checked to see if it needs to be adjusted. I would recommend a chiropractor who uses an instrument to do the physical adjustment. Plus, exercising the non-injured shoulder creates neural pathways to help your injured shoulder heal faster.

nancytarlow's picture
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

HI Thom, If you are interested, there are chiropractors in Portland that do Koren Specific Technique, which is a fantastic instrument adjusting technique that allows you to pinpoint the source of the problem and the most effective way to healing it. Just google koren specific technique and under Directory, you will find a DC. Nancy

nancytarlow's picture
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Chiropractic care is for maintenance, not for attending to definitive injuries. For that one needs to consult an Osteopathic Dr. and not a chiropractor.

rs allen
Mar. 15, 2012 5:55 pm

Latest Headlines

Who rejected United States-North Korea peace talks?

There were conflicting reports on Sunday regarding a recent proposal for United States-North Korea peace talks which was allegedly made before North Korea"s recent nuclear test

U.K. Pound Falls As Markets Get Brexit Jitters

Bloomberg said on Monday the pound had sustained its biggest fall against the dollar in 11 months

Clinton: I'll defend Israel but push for 'two-state solution

Hillary Clinton believes both Republican candidates Donald Trump and Ted Cruz "missed the mark" with their approach to the Israel-Palestinian Arab conflict

Fukushima wake up call

Here is the Fukushima wake up call - will it go unheard?

Powered by Pressflow, an open source content management system