We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

How do I Treat a Torn Shoulder?

By T. Webster
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGEEK is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGEEK, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Torn shoulder treatments can vary depending on the specific cause of the tear and its severity. Ways to treat a torn shoulder can range from resting the affected arm to having it surgically repaired. Tears can involve the muscles, ligaments and tendons surrounding the shoulder.

Generally, the symptoms of torn shoulder are pain in the shoulder and arm, shoulder weakness or tenderness and a loss of range of movement. There also can be a sensation that the shoulder is catching or not moving smoothly. If pain is present, it might occur only during certain activities or movements.

You can suffer a torn shoulder in various ways, such as by falling on your arm, by being in a car accident, by lifting something extremely heavy or through arm repetition that happens with playing tennis or pitching a baseball, for example. Consulting a doctor is the first step to treat a torn shoulder. This will include a physical exam to measure pain or loss of motion. An X-ray likely will be taken, and additional tests might be ordered to further assess the injury.

If the injury is not serious, you can treat a torn shoulder by a combination of resting the shoulder, applying ice packs, gently exercising it and taking anti-inflammatory drugs. Your arm also might be put in a sling so that movement is limited and the shoulder can heal. Correcting your posture so your shoulders and head are in alignment also can help. In some cases, physical therapy might be necessary.

You will need to treat a severe shoulder tear right away. The first thing you can do to treat a shoulder injury is to apply an ice pack immediately in order to help avoid swelling. Pain normally will be extreme, and an immediate trip to the hospital for X-rays and other tests likely will be needed.

If your injury has damaged your entire shoulder, you probably will need surgery. The surgery is considered complex and can take about four hours to complete. Recovery can take from several weeks to about three months. You can help prevent another injury by doing exercises to help increase your shoulder strength.

Shoulder pain should not be taken lightly. Shoulder pain sometimes can indicate a heart condition that causes pain to radiate to the shoulder. If you are lucky, however, the only thing you will need to do to treat a torn shoulder is allow the muscles time to heal. It is always best to consult with a physician to determine the best way to treat a torn shoulder.

WiseGEEK is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

WiseGEEK, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGEEK, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.