The tendons of the rotator cuff in the shoulder become inflamed or irritated when someone has shoulder tendinitis, sometimes referred to as rotator cuff tendinitis or tendinopathy. The shoulder blade and upper arm bone are connected by a set of muscles and tendons known as the rotator cuff, which aids in stabilizing and movability of the shoulder joint.
Overuse or repetitive strain on the rotator cuff tendons can result in shoulder tendonitis. Typical causes include:
- Repetitive overhead activities: Shoulder tendinitis can be brought on by repetitive overhead movements, such as those involved in ball throwing, painting, or carrying heavy objects.
- Age: The rotator cuff tendons may weaken and become more prone to inflammation and injury as people age.
- Poor posture: The muscles and tendons in the shoulder might become strained and inflamed as a result of poor posture.
- Sports injuries: Throwing-intensive sports, like cricket, tennis, or volleyball, can raise your chance of developing shoulder tendinitis.
- Trauma: A abrupt incident, like a fall or a car accident, can harm the rotator cuff tendons and result in shoulder tendinitis.
- Calcium deposits: The rotator cuff tendons can occasionally develop calcium deposits, which can hurt and inflame them.
- Other medical conditions: Medical disorders such as arthritis, bursitis, or a bone spur can bring on or worsen shoulder tendinitis.
Depending on how severe the problem is, shoulder tendinitis symptoms can vary, but typical signs include:
- Pain: Shoulder pain is the most typical sign of shoulder tendinitis. Often, people feel pain in the front of the shoulder, but it can also travel down the arm. The discomfort can get greater when lifting or moving the arm and can be dull, achy, or sharp.
- Tenderness: It could pain to lie on the side with the affected area, and the affected area might be sensitive to touch.
- Weakness: The affected shoulder may become weak as a result of shoulder tendinitis. This can make it challenging to lift or carry out tasks that require overhead movement.
- Stiffness: It may feel stiff and challenging to move the shoulder. This may be more obvious in the morning or following a time of inactivity.
- Clicking or popping sounds: When moving the shoulder, some persons with it may hear popping or clicking noises. The tendons’ friction with the bone is to blame for this.
- Limited range of motion: It may restrict the range of motion in the affected shoulder, making daily activities like getting dressed, taking care of oneself, or reaching for things challenging.
While the orthopedic physician and a physiotherapist are the right people to diagnose shoulder tendinitis, there are a few self-tests that you can perform at home to determine if you may have this condition. However, it’s important to note that you should not use self-tests as a substitute for a medical evaluation because they may not be completely accurate. If you suspect you have shoulder tendinitis, it’s important to consult a healthcare professional for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.
Here are two common self-tests for shoulder tendinitis:
- The painful arc test: To perform this test, raise your arm to the side, keeping your elbow straight. If you have shoulder tendinitis, you may feel pain or discomfort between 60 and 120 degrees of elevation.
- The drop arm test: To perform this test, raise your arm to the side, keeping your elbow straight. Slowly lower your arm back down to your side. If you have shoulder tendinitis, you may experience pain or weakness when trying to lower your arm.
Treatment may include rest, ice, anti-inflammatory medication, physiotherapy, and in severe cases, surgery.
Physiotherapy is a common treatment approach for shoulder tendinitis. A physiotherapist can assess the condition, identify any underlying causes, and develop a treatment plan tailored to your specific needs.
Here are some common physiotherapy treatments for shoulder tendinitis:
- Range of motion exercises: These exercises assist in enhancing the shoulder joint’s range of motion and reducing stiffness. These might consist of shoulder circles, pendulum exercises, and gentle stretches.
- Strengthening exercises: Exercises that build muscle strength can lessen the pressure on the rotator cuff tendons by strengthening the muscles that surround the shoulder joint. Exercises like shoulder presses, rows, and external rotations are a few examples.
- Manual therapy: Techniques used in manual therapy, such as soft tissue mobilization, joint mobilization, and trigger point release, can aid in pain relief and range-of-motion enhancement.
- Ultrasound therapy: his therapy uses high-frequency sound waves to promote healing and lessen inflammation in the affected area.
- Taping and bracing: Bracing or taping the shoulder can help to stabilize the joint and lessen stress on the rotator cuff tendons.
- Postural correction exercises: This is very important since it will relieve the strain on your stressed tendon.
- Extracorporeal shock wave therapy: Acoustic sound waves are used in this very advanced procedure to stimulate the body’s natural ability to heal itself.