How to treat a torn tendon in a shoulder

Updated February 21, 2017

A shoulder tendon is the tissue that connects the muscle to the bone. These tendons can be torn from strenuous weightlifting, improper lifting techniques or a hard blow to the shoulder. The healing process can be slow and painful. Follow these simple steps to make the recovery as quick and painless as possible.

Apply an ice pack to the shoulder for 20 minutes at a time, every 2 hours. If you do not have ice packs, you can simply place ice cubes into a plastic bag. Place a washcloth or towel between your body and the ice pack so the cold is less intense. The ice will help keep swelling to a minimum.

Take anti-inflammatory medicine such as ibuprofen or aspirin immediately after the injury occurs. Continue taking it until the tendon has healed. Do not exceed the recommended dose as listed on the medicine bottle or packet. This will help with pain and swelling.

Let your shoulder rest as much as possible. Refrain from lifting heavy objects. Putting extra strain on a torn tendon will prolong the healing time. If you are experiencing intense pain, you should put your arm in a brace to reduce the stress placed on your shoulder. Arm braces are available at most pharmacies.

Stretch the tendon gently until it is healed to ensure all mobility is returned to the shoulder. The tendon may become stiff and lose elasticity if it is not stretched during the healing process. Do not stretch to the point that it becomes painful as this could injure the tendon even more.

Things You'll Need

  • Ice
  • Medication
  • Arm brace
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About the Author

Kenneth Coppens began his freelance writing career in 2008. His passions in life consist of extensive personal research on food, gardening and finding natural and eco-friendly alternatives to nearly all aspects of life.