Rotator cuff physical therapy, or rotator cuff physiotherapy, has a huge and vital role to play in rehabilitation from any cuff injury.

No matter what injury you may have suffered, no matter how painful or debilitating it is, no matter what is recommended as a treatment it will at some point involve therapy.

What is Physical Therapy?

Below is a basic definition.

“The treatment of physical dysfunction or injury by the use of the therapeutic exercise and the application of modalities (any physical or electrical therapeutic method or agency), intended to restore or facilitate normal function or development.”

Specifically in relation to rotator cuff tear physical therapy we are talking about treating the muscles of the rotator cuff. This is done using utilizing exercises for rotator cuff muscles. The whole point of physical therapy is quite simply to restore normal or pre injury function.

The role of the Physical Therapist

Physical therapists are professionally qualified and required to

  • Undertake a complete examination, assessment and evaluation of the patient
  • Formulate a diagnosis, prognosis, and a specific action plan;
  • Determine if a patient need to be referred on to another healthcare professional;
  • Execute a physical therapist treatment program;
  • Evaluate any treatments;
  • Provide support and information for self help.

The basic therapy process

The therapy process is fairly straightforward and can be laid out in stages. The basic method involves:

  1. An initial examination / assessment
  2. An evaluation or diagnosis
  3. A basic prognosis – what outlet can be achieved
  4. The development of a treatment plan, and finally
  5. A re examination and reassessment

It is certainly not unusual to go through this process more than once when dealing with any injury. Cuff physical therapy is no different. In fact, the complicated nature of the shoulder makes this much more likely.

  • Assess
  • Plan
  • Treat
  • Review

Repeat as often as necessary

What about physical therapists?

Physical Therapy is a reputable and fully regulated profession. There are some differences around the world but that is nothing to worry about. A qualification obtained in any place in the world qualifies the practiceer to use the title Physical Therapist.

Physical therapist entry-level programs are based on university studies. A minimum of four years study is required. Courses are all independently validated and accredited. They provide a standard that agreements graduate's full statistical and professional recognition.

For example, 202 of the 211 accredited physical therapy programs in the USA are accredited at the doctoral level.