Rotator Cuff Tear Physical Therapy

Torn rotator cuff symptoms include shoulder pain, limited movement, and weakness in joints. This condition is commonly caused by acute shoulder injuries or severe wear and tear of the shoulder joint.  Its debilitating impact makes everyday movements challenging for patients.

Specialized Physical Therapy offers rotator cuff tear exercises and treatment plans to support natural recovery and restoration.

Overview: Rotator Cuff Tear

The rotator cuff consists of four muscles that keep the ball and socket joint stabilized whenever you move your shoulder.  Its presence allows muscles to glide freely and create no tension in these areas. Eventually, excessive wear and tear or a traumatic injury can cause tissue degeneration to escalate.

There are two types of rotator cuff tears. Partial tears (or incomplete tears) affect the tendon but keep it attached to the bone. Complete tears can create tend to affect the entire tendon, often causing it to separate from the shoulder bone (scapula).

You usually will experience a dull ache in both cases, followed by reduced range of motion and muscle weakness, and pain depending upon how large the rotator cuff tear is.  The size of the tear is usually graded small, medium, large, and the either partial thickness or full thickness.

Early intervention utilizing rotator cuff tear exercises, mobilizations, and massage therapy mitigate the risk of chronic shoulder pain. That way, you are less likely to worry about a surgery/replacement.


Common rotator cuff tear symptoms include:

  • A dull ache in a localized area that escalates when you move the affected shoulder joint
  • Inability to lift the affected shoulder (or reach behind your back)
  • Weakened arm muscles
  • Disrupted sleepy cycle as a result of shoulder pain
  • Crackling sound (or sensation) that becomes evident when you move your shoulder a certain way


Leading causes of rotator cuff tears include:

  • An acute injury such as fractures or a dislocated shoulder
  • Overstretched shoulder muscles (often caused by a sudden movement)
  • Overuse of the shoulder joint due to repetitive movements 
  • High-risk activities like manual labor and sports (i.e. tennis, golf, and baseball)
  • Degenerative issues caused by aging (i.e. excessive wear and tear of shoulder muscles and lack of blood supply)
  • Bone spurs (or overgrowths)
  • Calcification of the rotator cuff
  • Prolonged rotator cuff tendinosis


Our physical therapists will conduct a detailed physical examination during the first visit.  It includes a comparative analysis of your current condition with medical records, previous shoulder injuries, and recurring pain patterns.  Additionally, they will ask you to perform certain shoulder movements (involving your scapula and shoulder) to observe joint mobility, muscle strength and assess functional limitations.

These tests allow us to determine how torn rotator cuff symptoms impact your everyday movements.  It also helps rule out other possibilities, eliminating the risk of misdiagnosis.


We develop a result-oriented personalized physical therapy centered on your rotator cuff tear symptoms. This strategy accommodates limitations, weaknesses, and lifestyle goals to achieve holistic goals. These include maximized muscle strength, reduced shoulder pain, increased endurance, and optimal functional levels.

Our therapy plan includes rotator cuff tear exercises like stretching and muscle strengthening routines.  These support your transition into daily routine activities after recovering from acute injury or restore movement caused by degenerative wear and tear.

They are backed by mobilization, massage therapy, and guided manual therapy sessions. Additionally, we provide functional training exercises, many times using the NEUBIE, to accommodate rigorous work routines and recreational pursuits.  The whole process revolves around postural alignment techniques, stamina-building exercises, and ergonomic training.

All this enables you to return to prior functional levels and also prevent relapse in the future.    

If you feel you have rotator cuff tear symptoms, don’t hesitate to call 201-773-8851 or contact us here

Request a free consultation or give us a call to get started!