Conservative Rotator Cuff Treatment

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Objective:To review the literature that describes the effectiveness for conservative treatment of rotator cuff pathologies.Data Sources:CINAHL, PubMed, and Google Scholar.Review Methods:A search of terms consisting of “conservative rotator cuff rehabilitation,” “exercise and rotator cuff,” “physical therapy and nonoperative rotator cuff rehabilitation” in CINAHL, PubMed, and Google Scholar. Interventions needed to be reproducible within the outpatient physical therapy or home setting.Results:There is an overabundance of research that explores the efficacy of nonoperative treatment of rotator cuff pathology; however, many are in combination with other treatments that consist of pharmaceuticals and therapeutic modalities. Within the last 10 years, there has been an increase in randomized controlled trials and reviews that that are supporting the use of conservative treatment for rehabilitation of rotator cuff pathologies, particularly for individuals older than 60 years.Conclusion:There is a great deal of support for the utilization of conservative treatment of rotator cuff pathology within the older population. However, there is extensive evidence in support of physical therapy and exercise that aid in prevention of surgical procedures and improvements of functional limitations, which are also more cost-effective than surgery and medication.

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