The activity modifications that I would suggest for a partial thickness rotator cuff tear or a full thickness rotator cuff tear would be avoiding excessive overhead activities at the gym. Golf would be difficult. Tennis will be difficult. Really anything overhead is going to be difficult. It will be difficult to do anyway. As you may know, when you’re trying to do these activities, if you have a partial or full thickness rotator cuff tear, sometimes you can’t get your hand up over your head anyway, so avoiding overhead activities – putting a luggage in the overhead bin on an airplane – that would be bad, that can aggravate the condition. Things of that nature should be avoided. Then, if you go to see a physical therapist, they’re going to work with you on strengthening the muscles around your rotator cuff. They’re going to be working on strengthening the scapular stabilizers of your shoulder and the scapula (the wing bone) – the bone in the back of your shoulder. By strengthening the muscles around your rotator cuff, that can help with your pain and your mobility.
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