So, Do I Need Rotator Cuff Surgery?

Rotator Cuff Surgery (or any Surgery on the Shoulder) Is a Last Resort

Not every rotator cuff injury requires surgery.

It's generally understood by doctors and surgeons that surgery will introduce more scar tissue into your shoulder. This added scar tissue will be problematic, requiring visits to the physio clinic and conservative treatment options post-surgery. If not dealt with properly, your shoulder could end up in worse condition than before the surgery! This is why surgery is only performed as a last resort.

Most doctors, surgeons and orthopedic specialists will recommend conservative therapy for rotator cuff partial tears, impingements, bursitis, tendonitis/tendinosis/tenosynovitis, soft tissue strain due to dislocations, labrum tears and other injuries before even considering surgery.

Some of the most effective conservative treatment methods you will find are:

  • Rest - This is important for initial healing to reduce pain, swelling and inflammation in the early stage of your rotator cuff injury. Too much rest can also be harmful to shoulder injuries because joint immobility of the shoulder can actually cause stiffening in the shoulder joint. This is why rest should be used when reducing initial pain and swelling, but should not be considered for more long-term conservative treatment.
  • Avoid Activities that Caused Your Injury - While resting your shoulder it's also important to avoid all activities that may have caused your injury in the first place and this definitely includes pretty much any type of sport where your upper body is involved. Continuing on with regular activities will not only make your injury worse, but limping to 'work around' your injury will eventually give rise to over-compensation injuries in other areas of your body.
  • Use a Cold Compress or Ice Pack - Cold is very effective at reducing pain and inflammation - use at the onset of the injury and during flareups.
  • Shoulder Joint Capsule Glenoid
  • Use a TShellz® Circulatory Boost Wrap - You can use your own blood flow to maximize your rehabilitation, maintain healthy blood flow to your shoulder, decrease recovery time, and boost overall long-term healing. Promoting blood flow to your shoulder joint capsule will help to minimize the growth of scar tissue, increase flexibility and helping prevent atrophy.
  • Physical Therapy - Surgery is usually the last resort. This means doctors or surgeons typically won't perform a surgery until they feel that their patient has put effort into treating their injury with conservative treatment methods. This includes 4 to 6 months of physical therapy. If you haven't experienced any improvement in your condition during that time then surgery may be considered. Agressive physical therapy approaches will focus on forced or manual manipulation of your shoulder joint - this means your physical therapists will be trying to move your shoulder past the point where it 'sticks' or is 'frozen' in place. This can be painful and end up making your injury worse if not done correctly. (reference: 1)
  • Stretching - Stretching your shoulder in physical therapy and at home will help you to regain your range of motion much faster than not stretching the shoulder joint at all. Stretching in many ways is key maintaining good Range of Motion (ROM) in the shoulder, and stretching can be made much easier with use of a TShellz Wrap before to warm up sfot tissue, and a Cold Compress or Ice Pack treatment after to prevent any return of swelling and inflammation.

We have wraps to treat any shoulder injury such as SLAP tears, impingements, tendon injuries, muscle strain/tearing and even strains from dislocations.

If You Haven't Done So Yet, Get a Proper Diagnosis

A serious rotator cuff tear is termed as Surgically Necessary (SN) and will require surgery, and in cases of complete tears or detachment, there is really no other option. This is why it is important to get to a physician and find out what is really going on - this is known as getting a proper diagnosis. Getting a proper diagnosis would also determine if your shoulder pain is a side effect from another condition or disease (diabetes or lyme disease are two examples). This is less common but nonetheless, very serious. So yes, it is important to get a proper diagnosis.

Injury Severity and Duration

With an acute (recent) injury the pain and symptoms you experience are likely to be minimal. You may not experience any pain, or feel pain, achy-ness or tightness in your shoulder before or after exercise or activity. For this type of injury, all conservative treatment methods will need to be used before surgery is even considered. If surgery is needed, your surgeon will likely choose a shorter, less invasive procedure if it's possible to do so. Most surgeons know that a less complicated procedure will have less trauma to the rotator cuff (ie. Endoscopic Surgery) and a much quicker rate of recovery after the surgery.

When you start experiencing chronic pain that happens during activity or pain that just won't go away (even when trying to sleep) then you're likely suffering from a more severe case of soft tissue injury. It is possible in such cases that your range of motion is decreasing, and tears in your shoulder soft tissue are filling in with scar tissue as part of the healing process. The addition of this scar tissue restricts your shoulder even more, tightening the tissue and reducing flexibility.

Muscles and Tendons of the Shoulder-Rotator-Cuff

In some situations a torn rotator cuff or tendon tear are fully torn, meaning that you will require re-attachment surgery or a graft. This is why getting a physician to get a proper diagnosis and determine what is really going on is extremely important. No matter what you do, it is extremely unlikely that a full tear is not going reattach itself - you will need surgery.

It's possible to suffer from pain in your shoulder due to tightness around the glenoid labrum process (tissue surrounding the shoulder socket that keeps your arm firmly attached to the rest of your body) and is generally termed "frozen shoulder" or a "locked shoulder". For this type of condition it is important to get diagnosed and find out which Stage you are currently in, as treatment will vary by stage. Go to (opens in new window) to find out more.

As with any surgery there are risks to every procedure depending on a lot of factors, including your age, the severity of your injury and your level of health going into the procedure. It's always best to discuss all possible risks and complications with your doctor, orthopaedic specialist and/or surgeon before the procedure. It's important to be aware of the risks you may face with any procedure intended to fix or relieve pain from your shoulder injuries. It is just as important to be aware of the success rate of these procedures, so you can weigh the success rate alongside the risks.

Shoulder Braces/Slings

For acute (new or recent) rotator cuff and other soft tissue injuries that have the ability to heal on their own - your doctor may even suggest use of a shoulder brace or sling. A removable shoulder brace/sling can be helpful to prepare you for physical therapy sessions and mobility exercises.

Rotator Cuff Pain Patterns

Prolonged use of a shoulder brace or long-term rest (restricted movement) without proper exercise or stretching can make your shoulder injury worse.

If your shoulder remains completely immobilized and at constant rest, the edges of your soft tissue tear will begin to fill in with scar tissue as part of the healing process. You may also have on-going symptoms of pain, swelling, inflammation, and even poor blood flow circulation.

Blood circulation is important because lack of proper blood flow will reduce the healing rate and healthiness of your soft tissue. Lack of blood flow and movement may facilitate atrophy (weakening and shortening of soft tissue) and scar tissue growth may increase as well. Soft tissue in your shoulder will tighten, decreasing flexibility and range of motion. Your ability to put use your arms, flex or twist your shoulder in certain activities such as cooking, brushing teeth, shaving or just repositioning yourself in bed at night is severely compromised. This puts you at a highly increased risk of greater injury so be sure that you are getting blood flow to the area.

Why won't My Rotator Cuff Injury Heal?

Have you ever asked yourself this question? Here at AidMyRotatorCuff we've had this question asked of us for years. The real answer is that the reasons are different for each person. What many of our clients have realized though, is that once you have a good understanding of the injury, it becomes much easier to understand why certain problems are occurring.

If our body is capable of healing our own injuries, why does it take so long to heal - and in some cases, why does no healing occur at all?

When we have a ligament, tendon or other soft tissue shoulder injury, the tissue is damaged. Your body responds to this damage with healing right away. During this healing process your shoulder tissue spasms and this contraction is meant to hold the tissue still to prevent any further injury. Swelling and inflammation is your body's way of sending blood to the area to start healing. Healing at this point will also expand the blood vessels in the injured tissue - they enlarge and swell, causing you pain. This pain is a signal for you to lessen activity that would put anymore undue stress on your shoulder injury. It also acts as a reminder that you have an injury.

Why are shoulder injuries so hard to overcome?

In two words - scar tissue.

Shoulder supraspinatus Ligament Muscle Scar tissue Healing

Tendons, muscles and other soft tissue in the shoulder are all meant to be soft and flexible, ready to work and move extreme forces in everyday activities. Damaged tissue heals with scar tissue; little tiny band-aids that overlap each other on the tissue mending the injury. With the added scar tissue the muscle, tendons and ligaments become rigid, less ready to move and unable to receive the full force of your movements. For example, scar tissue in a damaged tendon sheath (tenosynovitis) will fuse to the tendon, causing severe pain and highly constrained movement. If you're suffering with scar tissue now you may feel the effects with stiffness, tightness, weakness in the shoulder accompanied by sharp pain when making certain movements.

Scar tissue can form fast to bring together the edges of a tear, but working fast doesn't mean that the job's done right. When scar tissue forms it doesn't come together as neatly as regular (healthy) tissue would. Scar tissue fibers will lay down over top of your tear in a cluttered, messy and jumbled up way.

On-going issues with scar tissue can even result in a soft tissue tear, related soft tissue injuries to nearby tendons or ligaments and joint instability. Surgery may even be required as a final intervention.

Scar tissue is one of the MAIN reasons why a soft tissue injury just hasn't healed.

Scar tissue will form fast to deal with a shoulder injury, and this scar tissue will also attach to everything in the area, including the surrounding healthy tissue as well. This can result in a fusing together of the soft tissue in the shoulder that reduces your mobility and makes your injury even more painful! This is why physical therapy is often painful - the therapist stretches the joint, forcing the scar tissue bonds to break so you can regain your range of motion.

Scar tissue is a major problem especially when it comes to a partial tendon tears, tendinosis (chronic tendinitis), tenosynovitis or severe muscle strain - causing your injury to take months or even YEARS to completely heal!

You can soften scar tissue and inhibit the growth of more scar tissue in your shoulder by increasing blood flow to that area. Treating yourself with a Shoulder TShellz Wrap® is the easiest and most effective way to accelerate your recovery and deal with stubborn scar tissue.

Shoulder Blood Circulation Accelerates Healing

Overall, continued treatment with our Shoulder TShellz Wraps will maintain good health in your soft tissue and significantly reduce your risk of re-injury.

What Happens When You Are Not Using Conservative Treatment Methods (as Outlined Above)

Soft Tissue Injuries of the Shoulder (this also includes the rotator cuff) are all injuries that cannot really be ignored. If you choose to ignore the injury, then this means you will still be be trying to do certain tasks (ie. using a fork, putting on your seat belt, etc) using soft tissue (strained and/or partially torn ligaments & tendons) that is already compromised. This means it will inevitably get worse.

    Here is what to expect:
  • Since the tissue is still inflamed, lack of proper blood flow will drop your healing rate to a crawl.
  • Continually straining the soft tissue (just by doing daily tasks that such as cooking and sleeping on your side) worsens the injury and will introduce more scar tissue.
  • Increased scar tissue buildup will tighten the soft tissue in your shoulder, decreasing your already limited flexibility.(reduced range of motion)
    If you suffer from a rotator cuff injury, this means that when you get out of bed in the morning and try to bathe, shave or wash your hair, it will hurt a LOT - this is due to reduced flexibility in the shoulder.

Since the ligaments/tendons of the shoulder cannot flex as much as they once did, trying to use it during your simple daily routine just introduces more scar tissue and continuously worsens the injury. As you can see this is a cycle that just gets worse and worse, eventually becoming a chronic (long term) injury. This is the cycle you need to stop or you will probably wind up having surgery once your injury becomes chronic.

What Are the Two Biggest "Gotchas" When Treating My Rotator Cuff Using
Conservative Treatment Methods?

The Absence of Pain Does Not Mean Your Injury is Gone

After most of our clients use one of our 2 Shoulder Cold Compresses as instructed, the shoulder pain disappears very quickly. This where most people wrongly associate the pain with the injury, whereas in truth, almost all of the pain really came from the inflammation and swelling. Once the inflammation is gone, do not assume you are fully healed.

Time Is Not Your Friend

So you have used cold compression and most of the pain is gone, but it's been a couple of months and the injury keeps flaring up. If this is you, then you probably know why this is happening now... the injury was never full healed. To really heal a shoulder injury, cold compression is helpful - but you really need to rest until it is healed, and you don't need me to tell you this is a pain in the butt! This is why the Shoulder TShellz Wrap is such an important tool. It basically gets you healed up fast, so you can get back on your feet fast and avoid the re-injury cycle.

When the swelling has gone down and the pain has reduced, this is the perfect time to use the Shoulder TShellz Wrap. A treatment with the Shoulder TShellz Wrap will substantially increase blood-flow to the treatment area - it literally supercharges your body's rate of healing. We also highly recommend that our clients treat themselves with the Circulatory Boost wrap first thing in the morning before getting out of bed. This is important, as the treatment is proven to increase elasticity and flexibility in shoulder ligaments and shoulder tendons; it will decrease the chance of re-straining these ligaments and tendons at their most vulnerable time - after a long period of inactivity.

The Shoulder TShellz Wrap® - Heal Your Shoulder For The Long Term

The best option we came across in our research to accomplish true healing of shoulder injuries is the Shoulder TShellz Wrap®. Use of this device results in a dramatic increase in blood flow to the tissues located in and around the area of application - all in a non-invasive manner.

Have you seen what happens when you add water to a flower wilted from drought? In essence, your injured shoulder is much like a "wilted" flower; your body wants to heal its injury, but needs lots of nutrients to do it. Blood brings life to your tissue by delivering healing nutrients and oxygen that are vital for their growth and survival. In addition, the blood carries away toxins and waste cleaning the area and healing it faster. Without a good supply of blood, your shoulder simply won't heal properly.

Using a TShellz Wrap® will not expose you to the risk of causing further harm to soft tissue like you can when using rigorous exercise. The Shoulder TShellz Wrap® accomplishes the goal of enhanced blood flow without the need for intensive exercise and as such reduces your risk of re-injury.

When to use a Shoulder TShellz Wrap:

  • Once the swelling is gone (usually after applying cold compression to the injury over 24 to 72 hr period).
  • BEFORE getting out of bed in the morning. BEFORE going to bed at night.
  • BEFORE exercise, workouts or activity of any kind to increase elasticity of shoulder tendons, ligaments and muscles and decrease the chance of re-injury.
  • AFTER surgery (once the skin wound has healed over) to increase post-surgery healing rate and minimize scar tissue growth at the surgery location.
  • Anytime BEFORE you feel you might undertake activity that will put significant strain on the injury area.

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Minimize Your Chance of Shoulder Surgery with these Effective Conservative Treatment Options

If your doctor thinks you might be able to avoid surgery by using conservative treatments, you can join our many customers who have had great success treating themselves with the powerful TShellz Wraps® that we offer through AidMyRotatorCuff.

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We also encourage your to Call Our Office at 1-866-237-9608 (toll free continental NA) where we can answer any questions you have and/or take your order via phone.

Rotator Cuff Injuries are common and can happen to anyone. Right now there are thousands of doctors and physical therapists dealing with patients that require a solution to treat their shoulder injury fast and heal it (where possible). If you want to be pro-active about properly addressing your shoulder injury by using the best conservative treatments, then you need to use AidMyRotatorCuff's system utilizing TShellz Wraps® and accessory products.

If Surgery is Required

Ok, well the good news is that AidMyRotatorCuff conservative treatments are highly effective for speeding up rotator cuff post-surgery recovery. To learn more about how to get started with recovery after surgery, click here.

The Next Step Is Up To You!

Living with pain is never easy as it affects your entire lifestyle. Living with pain during or after an intensive surgery and lengthy rehabilitation period can be even harder! What is more important than taking your best shot at trying to heal your shoulder before signing up for surgery?

Doctors and Surgeons are always improving the technologies used in surgery, and results from surgery now are much more positive than they were in the past. However, all surgeries introduce scar tissue, and recovery from shoulder surgery is often disappointing. If you do wind up getting surgery, know that rehabilitation at-home while attending regular physical therapy or doctor appointments is vital for your overall recovery. It is especially vital to the shoulder and knee areas, as they consistently handle extreme forces (body weight). Consistent exercise and conservative treatment on a daily basis during your rehabilitation while working with your doctor, surgeon or physical therapist is key - and this is why you should seriously consider maximizing your recovery by using the TShellz Wrap at home once you are approved for physical therapy.

AidMyRotatorCuff stands out in this regard as our goal is to help you keep your shoulder healthy for the long-term in a cost effective manner. This might mean healing your rotator cuff without needing surgery. If you couldn't avoid surgery, then our tools can also help you recover from surgery more quickly and completely..

We strongly believe that we can help you, and we have thousands of happy clients to back this claim. You are welcome to try our products for a 60 day period.. If you are committed to following the treatments outlined in the product instructions we are very confident that our TShellz Wraps will aid you immensely. If you do not receive the benefits that countless of our other customers have experienced from our products, call us, mail the product back to us and we will provide you with a full product refund.

Our online shop accepts Visa & Mastercard as well as a Paypal Payment option.
We also encourage your to Call Our Office at 1-866-237-9608 (toll free continental NA) where we can answer any questions you have and/or take your order via phone.

Our customer service lines are open 5 days a week helping people understand their injuries and how to treat them. Simply call toll free 1-866-237-9608 to talk or place an order with one of our knowledgeable Product Advisers. They have the ability to answer questions and even put together a treatment plan for you.

Product specialists are available 9:00 am to 5:00 pm Eastern Standard Time Monday to Friday.

If any question or concern arises, call us or simply send us an email at any time (we check our emails constantly all throughout the day and night.. even on holidays!). We will respond as soon as possible.

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Learn More About SUPERIOR Shoulder Treatments

Learn more about Shoulder Surgery and Post-Surgery Recovery

Learn more about about how the Circulatory Boost TShellz Wrap® helps with the healing process.

Learn more about which is better for your rotator/shoulder injury - ice or heat


During your recovery, you will probably have to modify and/or eliminate any activities that cause pain or discomfort at the location of your soft tissue injury until the pain and inflammation settle. The more diligent you are with your treatment and rehabilitation, the faster you will see successful results!


Please be aware that this information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider before using any of our outstanding products to make sure they're right for you and your condition or if you have any questions regarding a medical condition. Always see your doctor for a proper diagnosis as there are often many injuries and conditions (some very serious) that could be the cause of your pain.

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