How Can You Make Your Rotator Cuff Heal Faster?

John Miller Physiotherapist

Article by John Miller

How to Speed up Rotator Cuff Healing

Rotator cuff injuries can be a common source of shoulder pain, but you can promote faster healing with the right approach. Here are some tips to help speed up the healing process for your rotator cuff:

Avoid Sleeping on Your Affected Side

Compression is detrimental to tendon healing, and the rotator cuff is particularly susceptible due to its anatomical structure. When you sleep on the affected side, the tendon gets compressed from both sides, hindering the healing process. It’s best to sleep on the unaffected side, keeping your arm slightly away from your body and avoiding any rotation that strains the other cuff muscles. Changing your sleep position can be challenging, but you can use pain relief or ice before bedtime to ease discomfort.

Ice Therapy

Ice can be beneficial in reducing inflammation and preventing abnormal blood vessel formation in the tendon. Studies have shown that shoulder tendons with new blood vessels (neovessels) are more prone to experiencing pain. Applying ice for 20 minutes multiple times daily, with at least 45 minutes between sessions, can help manage inflammation and promote healing.

Seek Professional Guidance

Every rotator cuff injury is unique, and it’s crucial to consult a shoulder physiotherapist or doctor for personalised advice. They can assess your condition, provide tailored exercises, and guide you throughout healing. Their expertise will ensure you take the proper steps and avoid potential setbacks.

Find Your Appropriate Load Level

Most rotator cuff injuries result from repetitive overuse. Continuing to strain these muscles at the same intensity can delay healing. However, complete rest is not the solution either. You need to provide an appropriate load to stimulate tissue remodelling and healing. Start with a short rest period, then gradually introduce gentle exercises recommended by a health professional, such as a shoulder physiotherapist. Identifying the causative factors and respecting pain are essential in determining the right load level for your injury.


In conclusion, it’s vital to approach rotator cuff injuries with patience and a comprehensive healing plan. You can accelerate the healing process by implementing the tips mentioned above, such as finding your appropriate load level, avoiding sleeping on the affected side, and using ice therapy. However, seeking professional guidance from a trusted shoulder physiotherapist or doctor who can provide personalised advice based on your specific condition is essential. They will guide you through appropriate exercises and ensure you take the necessary steps to recover successfully.

Remember, healing takes time, but with the right approach and expert support, you can regain strength and return to normal activities as soon as possible.

More info:


Naunton J, Harrison C, Britt H, Haines T, Malliaras P (2020) General practice management of rotator cuff related shoulder pain: A reliance on ultrasound and injection guided care. PLOS ONE 15(1): e0227688.

Skazalski, C, Bahr, R, Whiteley, R. Shoulder complaints more likely in volleyball players with a thickened bursa or supraspinatus tendon neovessels. Scand. J. Med. Sci. Sports. 2021; 31: 480– 488.

Khan, K. M., Cook, J. L., Taunton, J. E., & Bonar, F. Overuse Tendinosis, Not Tendinitis. The Physician and Sportsmedicine, 28(5), 38–48. doi:10.3810/psm.2000.05.890