According to About.com, there are several non-surgical treatment options for a torn rotator cuff, including physical therapy, resting, activity modification and ice packs. Medication and cortisone injections are also helpful.
Physical therapy is considered to be of major importance when treating a torn rotator cuff. Regular therapy exercises help strengthen rotator cuff muscles so that they can return back to normal function. After a few sessions with a physical therapist, rotator cuff exercises can be done at home to relieve pain and prevent further injury.
Rest is another way to calm pain symptoms of a rotator cuff flare-up. Allow the shoulder to rest until symptoms subside. It is helpful to alleviate strain on the muscles by practicing activity modification. A physical therapist can demonstrate how to lift and carry objects and sleep without putting undue stress on rotator cuff muscles.
Some people may find temporary relief by taking anti-inflammatory pain medications during a rotator cuff flare-up. It is important to only take these medications under doctor supervision, notes About.com. Applying an ice pack to the injured shoulder helps ease pain and reduce inflammation. A shoulder ice wrap is particularly soothing. Serious pain symptoms are sometimes alleviated with the help of cortisone injections. A doctor may recommend getting a cortisone shot before doing physical therapy.