Shoulder tendinitis and tendinopathy

Male athlete with shoulder pain in gym
Getty Images under licence to PhysioQinetics Ltd.


What is shoulder tendinitis and tendinopathy?

Our shoulder is made up by a group of muscles and tendons called the rotator cuff. This is a group of 4 muscles that run from the shoulder blade to the top of the arm bone. They support and move the shoulder joint. The rotator cuff muscles attach to the arm bone by tendons which we refer to as rotator cuff tendons. Any swelling or damage to these tendons is know as rotator cuff tendinitis/tendinopathy.

The most common cause is overuse of these muscles and tendons from repetitive motions such as reaching overhead, throwing or heavy lifting. It can also happen because of an injury to your shoulder or a fall on an outstretched arm. 

Rotator cuff tendinitis is probably the most common cause of gradual onset shoulder pain and refers to inflammation of the tendons. The ‘itis’ at the end of tendonitis refers to inflammation of the tendon, but a more accurate term for this injury is tendinopathy which includes ‘degeneration’ or wear and tear of the tendon as well.


Ultrasound treatment on a girl's shoulder to treat shoulder pain
Getty Images under licence to PhysioQinetics Ltd.


Treatment for shoulder tendinitis and tendinopathy

Our effective physiotherapy can help you recover from tendinitis and tendinopathy and prevent recurrence when you return to normal activity. We can help to diagnose the condition, discuss the different treatment options and provide physiotherapy treatment for your shoulder tendinitis/tendinopathy. This includes using various manual treatment techniques to control shoulder pain, reduce tendon swelling and thickening, regain motion, improve shoulder and blade positioning, and improve posture. 

There will be a strong focus on progressive strengthening of your rotator cuff muscles and shoulder blade muscles. Our Physiotherapy treatment for shoulder tendinitis/tendinopathy may include:


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