Patients with rotator cuff tears oftentimes needs some form of physical therapy in order to progress with both their motion and pain. Patients that elect to treat the tears of their shoulder, nonoperatively and without any kind of surgery, typically need to restore their motion by recruiting other muscles in their shoulder so that they can use their arm normally overhead. Generally, they set up an appointment with a physical therapist and have a minimum of about 12 sessions in order to really function on restoring the motion in your shoulder and using some of the other muscles in your shoulder to provide some of the strength. Some patients with mild symptoms can be given a home exercise program. This involves a series of exercises that focus on strengthening the muscles around the shoulder and even the muscles that are torn to help regain and restore some of the motion and some of the strength. It is up to your doctor to determine whether you need a formal physical therapy evaluation or if this is something that you can do as a supervised home exercise program.