Can you treat a Rotator Cuff injury with massage?

I was asked this question just the other day and thought I would share my observations on this.  The basic answer to this would usually be, yes!  This would definately depend on the skills, experience and training of the therapist in question.  They should have detailed muscular knowledge and some advanced massage skills and possibly sports massage.  A therapist with basic massage skills or one that is not solely dedicated to Massage Therapy would probably not be the best equipped to deal with this problem.  You should ask your therapist this question and hopefully receive more than a basic yes or no answer. Treatment should start the sooner the better, the 1st 48-72 hours is crucial to apply RICER, Rest Ice Compression Elevation and then Referral.  After the initial injury has been treated with RICER, as the shoulder is already an area of poor blood supply, initially follow with heat, by way of heat lamps or lotions and only then massage, which will start to increase blood supply, oxygen and nutrients to the area. Trigger points in the 4 rotator cuff muscles are usually to blame for lingering shoulder pain, even when the injury has healed and when surgery is done to remove  pain, trigger point massage is vital for eliminating residual pain. (2004, 87, Davies & Davies).