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Shoulder SLAP Tear: Care Instructions

Shoulder and SLAP tear in the shoulder


Shoulder injuries can be slow to heal, but your shoulder may get better with time. The first step in treatment is to see whether pain medicine and rehabilitation (rehab) can take care of the problem.

Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.

How can you care for yourself at home?

  • Take pain medicines exactly as directed.
    • If the doctor gave you a prescription medicine for pain, take it as prescribed.
    • If you are not taking a prescription pain medicine, ask your doctor if you can take an over-the-counter medicine.
  • If your doctor recommends that you wear a sling, use it as directed. Do not take it off before your doctor tells you to.
  • Put ice or a cold pack on the sore area for 10 to 20 minutes at a time. Put a thin cloth between the ice and your skin.
  • If there is no swelling, you can put moist heat, a heating pad, or a warm cloth on your shoulder.
  • Do exercises and stretching as directed by your therapist or doctor.

When should you call for help?

Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse advice line if:

  • You cannot use your shoulder.
  • Your shoulder does not get better as expected.

Where can you learn more?

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Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.