There are many nonsurgical treatments that can improve pain and function that result from a rotator cuff injury. However, it is very important to address rotator cuff injuries as soon as possible with a health care provider or specialist in order to avoid surgery as a treatment option, according to WebMD.
The most common rotator cuff complaints are usually due to inflammation and irritation of the tendons surrounding the rotator cuff or a tear in one of the tendons from overuse or injury, states MedlinePlus. There are nonsurgical approaches for treatment in both cases; however, following through with a physician's recommendations determines the outcome for long-term relief.
If self-care options such as rest, pain medications including ibuprofen or other NSAIDs, and alternating ice and heat every 20 minutes for relief do not seem to be enough, a health care provider may refer you to a physical therapist to strengthen the tendons to help restore movement.
Avoid lifting heavy objects overhead, refrain from carrying purses or backpacks over the shoulder, make changes to objects stored on shelves above, and take regular breaks from activities that require repeated use of the shoulder to help in efforts to avoid rotator cuff surgery, recommends MedlinePlus.