What types of treatment are suggested for a supraspinatus injury?


Quick Answer

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications, or NSAIDS, such as ibuprofen and naproxen, can help reduce the pain and swelling from a torn rotator cuff, according to OrthoInfo. People with a supraspinatus, or rotator cuff, injury should get plenty of rest and reduce physical activity that aggravates the shoulder. In some cases, doctors may prescribe steroids and anti-inflammatory medications, such as cortisone injections.

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Full Answer

Surgery is often an option, and doctors may recommend it for patients if the pain and the condition fails to improve within six months to a year through other methods, notes OrthoInfo. Surgery, which involves re-attaching the tendon to the head of the arm bone, or humerus, may be necessary for those who need to use their arms for overhead work, athletes and other very active people.

Patients with large tears or significant loss of strength and mobility can benefit from surgical treatment, as OrthoInfo explains. However, nonsurgical treatment of a torn rotator cuff reduces certain risks, including infection, permanent stiffness and complications caused by taking anesthesia.

Some disadvantages of nonsurgical treatment include the risk of the tear increasing, limiting activities further and decreasing strength, as described by OrthoInfo. Patients choosing nonsurgical treatment can benefit from strengthening exercises that work the shoulder to help restore mobility, flexibility and range of motion. Building strength in the muscles that support the shoulder help to prevent further injury.

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