The joint between the shoulder that connects to the arm is called the rotator cuff. An injured rotator cuff does not heal over time and instead could enlarge. However, a torn rotator cuff does not need to be healed, for the pain to subside. Often this condition does not result in a noticeable pain. Hence, treating a rotator cuff tear implies managing the symptoms and not healing the ailment.
How could a torn rotator cuff be treated with home remedies
Alternating between ice and heat reduces the pain sensed on account of a torn rotator cuff. The variance in temperature stimulates the circulation in the shoulder that reduces the incidence of inflammation. It is suggested to treat the shoulder with an ice pack / wrap followed by a heating pad / hot water-bottle. The heat could be transferred, in form of a towel soaked in hot water infused with anti-inflammatory herbs such as birch / willow / yarrow / etc.
Massage is therapeutic as it decreases the muscular spasms. A deep tissue / pressure massage enables a rapid recovery from this condition. It may also stimulate the shoulder and enable some degree of non-strenuous activity to be undertaken. A regular massage after a hot bath yields instant relief from the associated pain. Here, it is important to mention that a torn rotator cuff may not necessarily need to heal for the pain to subside.
A simple solution for resolving the pain associated with a torn rotator cuff is deep breathing. It enables oxygenation of cells and expels the used air. It is a potent technique for managing inflammation, which does not require movement / assistance / resources. Deep breathing, imaginatively focused on the inflamed area, enables localized healing. However, it needs to be practiced constantly to become habitual, else the breathing reverts back to previous intensity / frequency.
Modifying the way the arm is lifted, objects are carried, posture while asleep, etc. lessen the stress on the rotator cuff. The cuff generally involves only 4 muscles of the shoulder joint and a physio-therapist could advise on viable alternatives. He / she can impart training on using the rotator cuff optimally to enable normal shoulder functions. The physio-therapist could also advise on the ways & means for strengthening the rotator cuff and the feasible treatment options.
A torn rotator cuff flaring off implies a need for rest to enable the inflammation settling down. Rest / sleep enable the muscles to relax, the nerves to restore and the temperatures to normalize. A dark and peaceful location devoid of any artificial lighting aids. However, the shoulder should not be immobilized else it may result in a frozen shoulder. Some simple activity that does not exert stress on the rotator cuff is recommended to be continued.
A torn rotator cuff can be treated with some anti-inflammatory herbs. These herbs could be benefitted from, by their tinctures or topical application. The amount administered depends on the sensitivity and weight of the individual concerned. Some anti-inflammatory herbs (with additional advantages) are,
– Black birch tastes pleasant and soothes the stomach as well.
– Willow has a unpleasant taste but eases inflammation rapidly.
– Skullcap is a gentle herb that also reduces anxiety and combats insomnia.
– St. John’s wort is a natural analgesic and soothes the nerves.
– Wild lettuce reduces pain, is mildly sedative and sometimes induces sleep.
Essential oils could relieve the symptoms arising on account of a torn rotator cuff. Essential oils constitute the volatile oil of the herb, derived by distillation and hence, highly concentrated. They are advised for external application only after being appropriately diluted. Some such essential oils are,
– Chamomile – Lavender
– Peppermint – Clary sage