Depending on the diagnosis, surgery should not be the last resort. I chose to forego surgery to repair a partially torn RC, with a projected recovery time of six months, instead treating it with PT and prescribed band and light weight routine until it blew catastrophically while surfing a winter swell, the subsequent repair and recovery taking a full year to recover from, and as it is, even though I'm surfing again, my shoulder will never be the same. Good friend of mine, fine surfer, martial artist and yoga devotee who is in superb condition, has been self-treating a shoulder issue for years through warm-ups, stretching and RC exercises. After watching what I went through, he finally saw a good sports med surgeon who showed him on the MRI that he had two partially torn rotator tendons, a partial bicep tendon tear, and two intrusive bone spurs. His surgery is scheduled next month. The best advice to give someone with a medical problem is to see an appropriate physician for a proper diagnosis.